2012 Maple Sugar Fest Weekend and Chef’s Challenge a Huge Success

4 Mar


The Stamford Museum & Nature Center is the place to be, month after month.  Exhibits run all year long, and visits to the otters, goats, and other farm animals are just an entrance away.  There are wine tastings, special dinners, tons of events for the family, and even a killer car show.

Then, of course, there is the holiest of all events at SM&NC:  Maple Sugar Fest Weekend, including The Chef’s Challenge.  This is our third year of attending the event and we loved the new format of having it all go down during the same weekend.

First, we walked on over to the Bendel Mansion to feed our appetite for maple syrup infused goodness that is The Chef’s Challenge.  The 2012 competition included A Dash of Salt, Susan Kane Catering, EOS Greek Cuisine, and long time competitor David’s Soundview Catering.

Here’s a breakdown of the syrupy goodness:

A Dash of Salt

• Frittella arancia e lo sciroppo d’acero, aka fritters with orange zest and maple syrup.  These were crispy on the outside, while moist on the inside.  It was amazing how they were able to fluff up the fritters with air and make these treats so light and fluffy.

Susan Kane Catering

• Scallops wrapped in bacon.  The scallops were soaking up in the maple syrup and were cooked perfectly which isn’t easy to do, especially in the tiny oven they brought along.  The bacon was crispy and added great flavor.

• Grilled mini tacos with sweet potato, cheddar, and Monterey Jack cheese.  Seemingly odd, but incredibly delicious with great flavor combinations.

• Mini sandwiches with braised pork on a tiny brioche bun.  The pork was delicate, a result of being slowly simmered for over 6 hours with apples, onions and more.

EOS Greek Cuisine (OmNomy 2011 winner for Best Mediterranean

• Baklava with maple syrup.  Baklava tends to be overly chewy and hurts your teeth, but this baklava is just right.  Also, there was just the right amount of sweetness, brought from the maple syrup.

• Fig and maple syrup bread pudding.  The pudding was moist and full of flavor.  Really awesome.  Even more awesome?  This is on their menu at the restaurant, btw.

• Myzithropita.  Ricotta, eggs, sugar, phyllo, fresh mint, butter, and maple syrup.  These little cheese pies had the perfect taste combo with just a hint of mint that made this little treat light and refreshing.

David’s Soundview Catering

• Red velvet whoopie pie.  Holy good God.  Delicate and moist red velvet cake kept together by a wonderfully mapley maple cream center.  Not overly sweet, just right.

• Grilled sandwich with smoked cheddar, maple glazed bacon, and pulled chicken.  When grilled up, they drizzled SM&NC maple syrup on top.  So ama-wait for it-zing.  This was the most talked about dish of the event.

The Winner

Kristien and I had a super difficult time voting for our favorites.  We did love all of the food there and didn’t have one single thing that we didn’t like.  When it came down to it, we felt that EOS Greek Cuisine or David’s Soundview Catering would win the prize because the maple flavors really shined through the most.  So, congratulations to David’s Soundview Catering!  They put together a great sandwich that people couldn’t get enough of…yeah, we might have had two each, but who’s counting?  Some people had 3…but they were just halves, chill.  Also, congratulations to EOS Greek Cuisine, A Dash of Salt, and Susan Kane Catering for putting together awesome dishes.

Other Fun Stuff

We renewed our memberships and bought three nice bottles of SM&NC Grade A bottles of maple syrup to wash our breakfasts down with.  With the way Kristien puts syrup on her waffles, that might only last a month.  Then, of course, we had to visit the otters, goats, pigs, donkeys, sheep, and alpacas.  For days like this, volunteers take the animals around for walks so that you can pet and meet the furry cute ones.  They also showed you how they make their maple syrup through the evaporation process.  There was a tree tapping demo and a maple sugaring demo, too.  All in all, a great time.  We look forward to coming back to SM&NC over the course of the year and for the next Maple Sugar Fest Weekend!  We’ll keep you posted on more of their food-related events.

If you’re a nature lover, hiker, animal lover, have a family, or enjoy museums then SM&NC is the perfect place to have a membership.  Join by clicking here.

Stamford Museum & Nature Center

39 Scofieldtown Road

Stamford, CT 06903

17 Responses to “2012 Maple Sugar Fest Weekend and Chef’s Challenge a Huge Success”

  1. kevin March 8, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    Still haven’t tried Bar Rosso yet but def gonna do a nice bar rosso dinner—Volta desert night when they have the outdoor seating

    …stumbled across this article http://www.sunherald.com/2012/03/07/3801839/renowned-brazilian-restaurant.html yesterday…seems interesting/delicious


    • Dan Del Ferraro March 8, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

      Kevin, get the best of both worlds. Go to Bar Rosso and order their gelato and sorbet. They bring it over from Volta next door. :) Also, yes, we’re hitting up Rodizio Grill on Wednesday. Very exciting! Can’t wait to try! :)


  2. kevin March 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    We decided to go on Sunday mainly cause the weather seemed better…but we really wanted to check out the chef challenge. Just of curiosity was there any additional cost to sample the food or was it included in the admission to the whole event?


    • Dan Del Ferraro March 5, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

      It was included in the price of admission, so a pretty nice deal. :) Did you check out the pancake brunch? You definitely need to check out the Chef’s Challenge next year!


      • kevin March 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

        That does seem like a really nice deal…No we didn’t do the pancake breakfast either…Saturday ended up being a little more food filled than planned so there was no room for a pancake breakfast haha.

        Side note..have you been to the Wine event they have…if so is it any good?


        • Dan Del Ferraro March 7, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

          Our Saturday was so food filled that it was ridiculous. We had the Chef’s Challenge then for dinner we ate at Bar Rosso and Chef Sergio treated us to some of his favorite dishes. We were stuffed.

          We haven’t gone to the wine events, either. We definitely would like to, though.



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