Dougherty Co. 4-H members participate in national cooking competition

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Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 1:24 AM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Two South Georgia students now have bragging rights for their dish in a national cooking competition.

They visited New Orleans and placed third for having some of the best cheese grits.

“I knew it was a very big deal,” said Latrina West, 4-H extension agent.

West shared her excitement after seeing the hard work of members Skylar Middleton and Shelise Byrd pay off.

“Mr. James Morgan had already told us that since he had been here 15 years, we hadn’t been to a national competition,” said West.

The group traveled to New Orleans for the Great American Seafood Cookoff.

Middleton said the experience was rewarding and challenged her skills in the kitchen.

“We made etouffee. We used grits, we used pimiento cheese because we had to originate it from our home state. So pimiento cheese, that’s known for in Macon, so that’s why we used that. We used shrimp because Georgia is known for shrimp sometimes,” explained Middleton.

Each of those ingredients, along with other veggies and spices were combined, plated and presented to the judges — and they liked it.

“It was just different teams, and we were like, ‘I hope we got this,’” said Middleton.

The team placed third overall and gained bragging rights for themselves and the Dougherty County 4-H program.

Middleton said she hopes to someday open her own wing buffet and continue perfecting her grits recipe.

The two young ladies competed against teams from Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas.

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