Corinth’s Culinary Gangster

Corinth’s Culinary Gangster

by Susan Neuhalfen

To think it all started with an Easy Bake Oven. Corinth Elementary 5th grader Charlotte Murray loves to cook. She began with her Easy Bake Oven and moved on to baking and cooking under the supervision of her mother. Just last year, she started attending an after school program at Corinth Elementary put on by the 4-H Club that included a cooking class on Tuesday afternoons. She was learning the basics when her class was approached with a challenge.

American restaurateur Guy Fieri was looking for a few good recipes for his new Guy’s Pig and Anchor Restaurants aboard Carnival Cruise Ship Lines. He turned to the 4-H Club to help him find the next big recipe. Kids in the 4-H cooking program were asked to enter recipes and the top three were chosen to cook their recipe at the Texas State Fair for Guy and a panel of judges.

“We had to take three elements off his menu and combine them to make a whole new recipe,” said Charlotte. “I created a barbeque sandwich using brisket, Guy’s Mac Daddy Mac n’ Cheese and his Carolina #6 sauce.”

She had one week to come up with the recipe. She made a few attempts and several revisions before creating the final recipe: brisket and mac and cheese rolled in crushed corn flakes and fried, and then drizzled with Carolina #6 sauce and mayo. She put it on Texas Toast and served it with a side of homemade slaw, made up of collared greens, green onion and kale. She served it with a side of garlic Parmesan aioli to dress the slaw.

She typed up her recipe and sent it in to compete with many other 4-H students. Within a week, she was informed that she was one of only three 4-H students from the DFW area chosen to compete at the Texas State Fair. Oh, and by the way, she’d won a seven-day cruise on Carnival Cruise Lines on any cruise that travels out of Galveston.

At the Texas State Fair, Charlotte had 30 minutes to prepare her barbeque and then bring her creation to Guy, a local smoker vendor, a food critic and a smokehouse restaurant owner who were judges, but she said she wasn’t really nervous.

“I was pleased to see how well she handled that situation because I know I was stressed out,” said her mother, Suzanne.

Guy Fieri christened Charlotte a culinary gangster and credited her for playing to the Texas crowd with her addition of Texas toast. The feedback, according to Charlotte, was mostly good even though she didn’t win first place.

“Getting to go onstage and meeting him was really cool,” said Charlotte who said that Guy helped her with her knife skills while she was preparing the dish. “Not many kids get this opportunity so I know how lucky I was.”

In addition to awarding the top three students with cruises, they made a $20,000 donation to Texas 4-H to help fund youth and nutrition programming.

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