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If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that yesterday I went to the seventh annual Carlisle's Own Iron Chef competition. While I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, my lovely date (fellow Sentinel editor April Trotter) and I had a good time.

Upon arrival, we decided to take a gander at all the items available for silent auction. There seemed to be quite a bit of alcohol, as well as some fun family-friendly game boxes, chocolate, spa treatments and more. For raffle prizes, there was a necklace donated by Mountz Jewelers and a massive oaken cooler filled with bottles of beer. Live auction items included gift certificates, more booze, and catering from Courthouse Common.

The most exciting part - for us, at least - was the vendors providing samples of their best foods. In attendance were representatives from Rillo's, Georgie Lou's Retro Candy & Gifts, Vanilla Bean Bakery, Courthouse Common, Chef Exclusive, The Green Room, Market Cross Pub & Brewery, North Hanover Grille, and more that I can't recall at the moment. Vanilla Bean Bakery had delicious champagne cake available, and Courthouse Common had three of its coffee blends to sip on, as well as Thanksgiving Day soup (a favorite of Hope Stephan, Sentinel executive editor). The Green Room - whose chef went on to win the title of both Carlisle's Own Iron Chef and people's choice chef - offered meatballs in gravy, as well as a spinach and mushroom spanakopita. Georgie Lou's had several glass containers of fall-themed candies. Guests were given little bags to fill with their choice of gummi pumpkins, pumpkin spice candy corn, caramel apple creams, non-pareils and more.

The main event, which was the competition, was downplayed a little too much for my liking. Flora Posteraro of abc27 was the emcee, but she was certainly no Alton Brown - the host of Food Network's "Iron Chef." I was hoping for interaction with the chefs as they created their dishes; I wanted to know what they were doing as they were doing it. (I was also secretly hoping to be selected as a people's choice judge.)

The biggest disappointment, however, was the cancellation of the Cake Bake, where local celebrity chefs would bake cakes in a theme, perform a skit in that theme and then auction the cakes off. An explanation for the cancellation wasn't given, but the program did say organizers hope to reintroduce the event next year.

Overall, it was a good time with a great variety of local foods all in the name of a good cause.


Larissa Newton is a copy editor for The Sentinel. She loves to eat, loves to cook (although she makes no claims on quality) and loves to do both while trying to stay healthy. She has been eating for 25 years. You can reach her at lnewton@cumberlink.com or 240-7161.

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