Thursday, April 26, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 8

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on November 25th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 38 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 38

Hobnobbing with Helen


(From left to right) Tom Reynolds, Trent Benedetti, Laurie Tamura, and Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino got ready to serve their homemade chow at the Boy Scouts’ Dutch Oven Cook-off on Oct. 26.

Well, this was an unexpected, pleasant surprise.

I’m talking about the “2013 Spurs & Spice Local Celebrity Chefs Dutch Oven Cook-Off.”

This benefit for the Boy Scouts featured a lot of tasty vittles, some cooked up by the likes of Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino, Lompoc Mayor John Linn, Trent Benedetti, radio host Andy Caldwell, Jay McCord, Tom Reynolds, and Laurie Tamura. Also a chef was event chairman Steve Jordan, who operates Baroda Farms in Lompoc.

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Peter Adam, chef James Gentry of the Far Western Tavern, and chef Aubrey Mayo of Jocko’s were the celebrity judges.

This fabulous food fiesta took place on Oct. 26 at the Santa Maria Energy Building.

The judges declared everything cooked by the celebrity chefs to be outstanding, but alas, they could award only one prize for the most savory. That went to Tamura for her quickly disappearing chicken enchilada casserole.

Lompoc City Councilman DeWayne Holmdahl and wife Bonnie were among the crowd, as were Dr. Dennis and Franzitska Shepard, Dr. Dan Shepard, and David Baskett.

Lompoc scout leaders Sue Schuyler and John Murphy posed for a photo in the outdoor cooking area of the cook-off.

I was pleased to see Peter and Jeannie Sterling, as well as Santa Maria Energy’s manager of public and government affairs Bob Poole with Gina Rae.

VTC’s Erika Weber told me that the fried chicken and potato salad buffet was the work of VTC Catering.

Now you are confused. Where does the food from the celebrity chefs come in, if it was a catered buffet?

Here’s the deal—and you need to know this if you want to get a ticket next year—you could go to the buffet, chow down, and then go to the “Celebrity Chef Counter” where you could choose samples of mouth-watering pot roast, cowboy stew, corn pudding, firehouse chili with cornbread, beans, and/or chicken with honey-mustard Dijon sauce and rice.

Then, as if that wasn’t enough, there was homemade peach cobbler with ice cream, pineapple upside down cake, and baked apples. And, of course, there was wine, beer, soft drinks, and coffee. All this for $50!

Flanked by Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino (far left) and Laurie Tamura, Steve Jordan (center left) and Andy Caldwell got ready for the buffet line at the cook-off on Oct. 26.

Supervisor Adam, on the spur of the moment, donated a pig hunt for two on his farm. Who would have guessed that this would go for $1,000 in the live auction?

Who would have also guessed that someone would approach Adam (while I was checking pig hunt facts with him) and ask if he would pony up a second pig hunt for the same amount? Adam, of course, said yes.

Others in the crowd were Dennis McGaughey, Katherine and Fred Carbone, Sal and Noelle Tolentino, Irene Reynolds, and John and Susan Deleon.

Local Boy Scouts of America Executive Director Angel Ortega and the scouts who were at the cook-off are happy campers after this successful and fun evening.


If you want to hobnob with Helen, you may contact her at

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