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Chosen Chicken

Side Dishes: Local writer a cooking contest contender

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Cheryl Herrick, daughter of the former owners of Five Spice Café, knows her fowl. Last week, she received a letter from the National Chicken Council informing her that her recipe for “Braised and Glazed Chicken Thighs with Root Vegetables, Pears and Gruyère Crostini” will be representing Vermont in the 48th National Chicken Cooking Contest. The missive also included a $100 check.

If Herrick is one of nine regional winners selected, she’ll net another $1000 plus a free trip to San Antonio for the finals. The grand prize is a cool $50,000.

How did she get into the competitive recipe circuit? “On a lark, a couple of years ago, I entered a Hannaford supermarket contest and won $1000, which made me go, ‘Oh, maybe I should enter recipe contests!’” Herrick says. The Chicken Council prize is her third.

In addition to creating recipes and working as director of community relations for the Vermont Children’s Aid Society, Herrick writes a monthly food column for Vermont Woman. In it, she remarks, “I talk to women who have moved to Vermont from other places, and get their stories of coming here. I go into their kitchens with them and learn about something they cook when they’re homesick, or something they love.”

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