Lemon-Ups and Lobster Shine at 12th Annual Samoa Soiree

by Leona Baker | Feb 28, 2020

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast

A wintery forecast couldn’t stop the sweet and savory fun and Mardi Gras-themed festivities at the 12th annual Samoa Soiree held at the Westin Hotel in Virginia Beach on Feb. 20. Hosted by the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, this fundraising event invites area chefs to compete for awards based on their recipes using at least one Girl Scout Cookie variety as an ingredient. More than 250 guests filled the Westin ballroom ready for a cookie-inspired culinary adventure.

Chefs from 12 area restaurants pulled out all the creative stops to come up with a range of mouthwatering recipes from Girl Scout favorite Samoas in a sticky pudding to all-time top seller Thin Mints used to make an infused tea. The Girl Scouts’ newest cookie variety—crispy Lemon-Ups emblazoned with inspiring messages—were a popular choice for these chefs, who used them to add tang and crunch in soups, pasta dishes and more.

Reigning champ Chef Kyle Fowlkes of Cyprus Grille once again took the judges’ Best in Show prize and the People’s Choice for the Savory category with his Lobster Thermidor Rigatoni with Lemon-Ups. The dish featured rigatoni in a creamy sauce with lobster meat, butternut squash, shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes and green peas topped with a toasted crumble made with Lemon-Ups.

In addition to sampling and sipping, guests enjoyed music by the Hot Gumbo Brass Band and bid on silent auction items such as spa days, memberships to local museums and creative gift baskets. The evening was topped off by an awards presentation for the winning chefs. 

Chef Kyle Fowlkes of Cyprus Grille

2020 Samoa Soiree Winning Dishes


Favorite Sweet

Samoa Sticky Pudding by Chef Willard Kane of Newport News Marriott


Favorite Savory

Trefoil Chicken and Waffles by Chef Mike Weeks of Anchor Allie’s


Most Creative

Thai Peanut Soup with Do-si-dos by Chef Heather Fraley of The Ten Top and “bragging rights” for Chef Jon Heineck of the Westin for his Do-si-do Pad Thai


Best Presentation

Trefoil Sunset Eggs and Goat-si-Dos by Chef Katherine Stebbins of Green Leaf & Pebble Tea Spa and Café


Best in Show

Lobster Thermidor Rigatoni with Lemon-Ups by Chef Kyle Fowlkes of Cyprus Grille


People’s Choice Sweet

The Trailblazer by Chef Duane Dinio of S’mores Amore


People’s Choice Savory

Lobster Thermidor Rigatoni with Lemon-Ups by Chef Kyle Fowlkes of Cyprus Grille


Try your hand at your own clever culinary takes on your favorite Girl Scout Cookie. Cookies are for sale at cookie booths for most of the month of March. Visit GSCCC.org for details. Coastal Virginia Magazine serves as a media sponsor for the Samoa Soiree, which benefits the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and their mission to “build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place."

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