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Cabbage/Onion Casserole Wins Top Honors in 2022 Cookoff

The delicious aroma of Vidalia Sweet Onions filled the Vidalia Community Center Saturday morning as the 2022 Cookoff was staged in conjunction with the annual Onion Festival.

The star was decidedly the Vidalia Onion prepared in a number of creative and tasty dishes, ranging from sweet rolls and tangy marmalade to chicken dip and casseroles.

Area judges tasted and ranked the entries in three categories: appetizers, side dishes and miscellaneous, prior to a public sampling and the announcement of awards. The Grand Prize winner was selected from the three first place finishers. Claiming that honor and a $500 cash prize was Janice Graham of Lyons with her “Cabbage/Onion Casserole.” Graham has competed in the cookoff a couple of times prior to 2022, but was motivated to try again after making a deal with her granddaughters. “I have four granddaughters who competed in the Miss Vidalia Onion Pageant and I told them if any of them won a crown, I would participate in the cooking contest,” Graham said. When her granddaughter Malea Pittman won the Teen Miss category, there was no turning back. “I got the recipe for cabbage rolls from my daughter, but decided to add onions to it,” she said. “The onions made it!” And the rest is cooking history.

Category winners include the team of Rhanita Keaton and Paula Krulic for “Vidalia Onion Dip” in the Appetizer category; Janice Graham, “Cabbage/ Onion Casserole” in the Side Dish Division; and Rhanita Keaton, for the “Baked Brie and Raspberry Onion Sauce,” in the Miscellaneous category.

GEORGIA GROWN — Holly Chute, senior Georgia Grown Executive Chef, speaks before Olivia Rader demonstrates how to make “Vidalia Onion Tarte Flambe.” Rader, Georgia Grown Kitchen Manager and Activities Coordinator, also shared her technique for cooking “Buffalo Chicken Blue Cheese Vidalia Onion.” The demo was held at the Vidalia Community Center in conjunction with the cooking contest.Photo by Deborah Clark

TASTING — Prior to the announcement of awards, the public enjoyed sampling entries in the 2022 Vidalia Onion cookoff.Photo by Deborah Clark

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