An enterprising 13-year-old boy won the prize for the best sweet pie at Sunday’s Town of Chevy Chase Bake-Off, wowing the judges from Bethesda’s Food, Wine & Co.
Ryan Hunt’s blackberry pie, still warm from the oven, surpassed the other entries from cooks far older and likely more experienced in the kitchen.
Michael Harr, chef of Food, Wine & Co., and one of the judges of the competition—along with restaurant owners Francis and Nooshin Namin and host Leslie Chauncey—called the pie “quite simple, but the flavors all come together, and the crust is excellent as well.”
As for Hunt, a seventh grader at Bethesda’s French International School, he said he got the pie recipe online, and had made it twice before, improving it each time.
It appears to be the extent of his culinary repertoire, however.
“That’s the only thing I know how to make,” Hunt said.
With her chicken and corn pie, Town of Chevy Chase resident Bridget Hartman took the top award for the best savory entry.
Francis Namin said the “texture and seasoning was good, and it was very balanced. I liked it.”
But Hartman seemed shocked by the honor, screaming “Oh, my God!” when her pie number was announced as the winner.
Hartman, whose husband does most of the cooking in the household, said the dish was a staple for feeding hungry boys; she raised three.
Both Hunt and Hartman received a $50 gift certificate to Food, Wine & Co., plus a bottle of wine from Beer, Wine & Co., also owned by the Namins (obviously, Hunt’s parents get the wine).
All 24 entrants in the bake-off received $10 gift certificates to the restaurant.
This is the third year the Town of Chevy Chase has held a baking competition, corralling owners of local food businesses to serve as judges, who then give out gift certificates to their establishments.
Last year, the cookie and brownie bake-off was sponsored by Spring Mill Bread Co.; the year before, town residents baked cupcakes for judges from Bethesda’s Georgetown Cupcake.
Everybody in the town is invited—and everybody gets to eat the entries.