More than 50 entries, most of them from non-professional cooks, were submitted to a Bastille Day Cooking Contest sponsored by L'Academie de Cuisine last weekend. When three area chefs finished their examination and tasting, the grand prize winner was a display of Les Petits Fours conceived by Joan Burka of Bethesda. She won a round-trip air ticket to Paris.
Other prize winners, in order, were a Lamb Peacock Sauce Vert Pre from Ridgewell's, a Ballotine de Caneton by Julie Logue-Riordan, Russell Rice's Chaud-Froid de Poulet, Linda Brown's Mousse Cake and Kathleen Pollack's Galontine de Volaille.
According to Francois Dionot of L'Academie, the contest was open to anyone who paid the $5 registration fee. The only restriction was a limitation of the size of each entry. The judges, Michel Laudier of the Rive Gauche, Phi llipe Laurier of the Palais des Friandes and Jean-Claude Galan of the Jockey Club said they were highly impressed with the conception of most of the entries and with the quality of ingredients used.
Unlike many professional judgings, taste was a factor, along with creativity and presentation. The judges felt that if there was a general fault, it was a tendency to overuse spices and alcohol. The public was admitted, at $1 per person, after the judging. Wine and appetizers from the caterer Pierre-Alber were served, but no sampling of the entries was allowed.
Of the entries, 18 were cakes or other desserts, two were breads and the remainder were hors d'oeuvre or main courses.Dionot said the Academie will sponsor a similar event on Bastille Day next year, but instead of a general competition, judging may be split into two categories, sweet and savory. CAPTION: Picture 1, Les Petits Fours took top honors at the Bastille Day Cooking contest; Picture 2, Judges Michel Laudier, Phillipe Laurier and Jean-Claude Galan, by Vanessa R. Barnes - The Washington Post.