The saga of savory servings returned to the Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia Cooking Contest. The defending champion ― Danielle Savard of Le Bleu Ridge Bed and Breakfast in Afton, VA ― raised the bar with her gluten-free soufflé (get the recipe) that garnered a good deal of attention from everyone involved. Savard had cooked up the winning creation in 2014 with her breakfast crepes but this year she narrowly stole the victory with her superior soufflé that gave everyone a new perspective on gluten free dining. The soufflé managed to beat out masterful Apple Pie Pancakes (which were vegan, gluten free and dairy free—an impressive accomplishment in and of itself), a melt-in-your-mouth quiche, a marvelous rendition of Spanish Tortillas, and even a deliciously mellow granola.
This year’s competition focused on providing unique dishes that were either gluten free, dairy free, or vegan and participants received extra points if the dish accommodated all three. Hot plates sizzled, knifes minced, toaster ovens hummed, and attendees were pleasantly surprised when there were extra samples of the creations they’d heard about, watched cook and savored the aroma of for at least an hour.
When not stealing the spotlight at the cooking contest, Savard cooks for her guests at the inn all the while offering tips and tricks to those that wish to learn. She has recently started sharing her health-conscious, gluten-free cooking with the entire area via a food truck. The restaurant on wheels is aptly named Le Chic Picnic and has been well-received by all that have partaken of Savard’s mobile cooking. The success is unsurprising considering the five star reviews that Le Bleu Ridge has received which all make a point to note how much they loved her cooking. From comments such as, “Danielle is a superlative cook, who is only too happy to accommodate special dietary needs” and “Danielle, our hostess, is a true chef. Breakfast is wholesome and local, adapted as needed to guest’s dietary needs (vegetarian, diabetic, etc.)” it becomes far from surprising that she won the BBAV Cooking Contest.
Photo credit: Jami Carlson