Raleigh, N.C. — A Youngsville woman won four blue ribbons and got recognized for her culinary flair at the North Carolina State Fair this year.
Amanda Boury won the N.C. Pork Council's TarHeel Pork Challenge, N.C. Pecan Association's Pecan Recipe Competition, N.C. Peanut Growers Association's Pea-nutty Vegetarian Recipe Contest and N.C. Egg Association's Incredible! Egg Sandwich Recipe Contest.
Her winning recipes were Pork Cranberry Brie Panini, Pecan Pesto Pizzette with Goat Cheese, Crispy Thai Chik'n Wraps with Peanut Sauce, and Carolina Club sandwich.
Boury said creating new dishes is an experimental process of trial and error.
"I got to say a lot of it is spur of the moment," she said. "I get an idea, I go home, try to re-create something in my kitchen, and then get some input."
Her work as a graduate student at North Carolina State University provides her with the perfect audience to test her new creations, Boury said.
"My office-mates love me. They are my guinea pigs and are very critical, so they're very helpful," she said.
Her strategy for winning so many contests? Enter as many as possible, and get her mother's help, Boury said.
"My mother and I enter these together, so she's been a great sounding board," she said.
Boury took home $700 in prize money from the State Fair.