Get Inventive: Enter Local Recipe Contest

Got leftovers? Then it’s time to put a few extra items hanging around your kitchen, or liquor cabinet, to good use and enter a special recipe contest … You could win $10,000.

East Bay resident and food afficionado Lisa Schiffman, who runs a food-focused website, and Scharffen Berger Chocolate of San Francisco are hosting their annual recipe contest, which is great way to have a bit of fun with the extra ingredients, treats or liquor you’ve got on hand.

But you need to get going, since January 3 is the deadline to enter the Chocolate Adventure Contest.

Choose one adventure ingredient — or more — that intrigues you, says Lisa. If you’ve never thought about using, say, fresh mint leaves or rice flour in combination with Scharffen Berger chocolate, why not give it a try?

Your recipe doesn’t have to be complicated, but it must be thoughtful, explains Lisa.

A previous winner used just four ingredients: fresh pomegranate, Scharffen Berger 70% cacao, wasabi paste and cocoa powder. Another reinvented a classic chocolate shake — by including ancho chile pepper, coconut milk and black sesame seeds.

The contest has two categories — sweet and savory. And the judges cast a keen eye primarily on three criterion: spirit of adventure/creativity, taste, and ease of preparation, according to Lisa.

Past winners include a software engineer from Silicon Valley, an elementary school teacher from the Midwest and a paralegal from the East Coast.

Last year, Martina Nemling, who works in the corporate marketing department of Alameda-based Peet’s Coffee & Tea, won the grand prize in Beverage with her Thai Confusion cocktail.

So you could combine your New Year’s Eve festivities with some recipe-making fun.

Good Luck & Happy  New Year!

Janet Levaux

  • Debbie Otten

    Good luck to Susan and Lynda on the coffee shop. I’ve had breakfast at the elks and the food and coffee were excellent. What ever you two do, it’s always good. I’ll be seeing you soon at High Street.