Over 300 Girl Scout supporters gathered at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel on March 17 to celebrate the 10th Annual Samoa Soiree hosted by the Girl Scouts of Colonial Coast. The culinary celebration featuring 11 local chefs and eight celebrity judges funds opportunities for young girls to participate in programs that encourage innovation, risk taking and leadership.
Chefs were challenged to prepare sweet and savory dishes using the beloved Girl Scouts Cookie as a primary ingredient. From frozen yogurt and the classic brownie to seafood starters and a Thai veggie bite, chefs skillfully incorporated the unique flavors of Thin Mints, Savannah Smiles, Do-si-dos, Samoas and more into their handcrafted cuisines.
This year’s participating restaurants included: Cyprus Grille, Hampton; The Dirty Buffalo, Norfolk; Handsome Biscuit, Norfolk; Hilton Norfolk The Main; Il Giardino Ristorante, Virginia Beach; Mixxer’s Kitchen, Chesapeake; RJ’s Café at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, Norfolk; Skinny Dip, Virginia Beach; Sheraton Norfolk Waterside; Spirit Cruises, Norfolk; and Sysco of Hampton Roads, Suffolk.
In addition to the cookie cook-off, the Samoa Soiree also hosted a live band, wine pull and silent auction.
Participating chefs celebrate their victories with one-of-a-kind trophies.
After sampling over a dozen dessert- and appetizer-style creations, the judges awarded five restaurants with the following titles: Best Dessert, Handsome Biscuit; Best Savory, Mixxer’s Kitchen; Best Presentation, Cyprus Grille; Most Creative Use of a Girl Scout Cookie, Spirit Cruises; Best in Show, Sysco of Hampton Roads. Each restaurant was awarded with a beautiful, hand-painted mermaid trophy.
Judges left to right: Xerxes Nabong, Yelp; Peggy Sijswerda, Tidewater Family
Magazine & Tidewater Women Magazine; Don London, Entercom Communications
Corp.; Toiya Sosa, GEICO; Ashley Smith, 13News Now; Grace Silipigni, Coastal
Virginia Magazine; Patrick Evans-Hylton, Virginia Eats + Drinks Magazine; Carolyn
Pittman, Newport News Shipbuilding.
Executive Chef Kyle Fowlkes of Hampton’s Cyprus Grille wins People’s Choice for
Best Savory dish with Sous Vide Veal.
Samoa Soiree guests were also invited to submit their nomination for the People’s Choice Awards for Best Dessert and Best Savory dishes. The Dirty Buffalo’s Mini Samoa Pudding Cake and Cyprus Grille’s Sous Vide Veal were recognized accordingly. To make your own Mini Samoa Pudding Cake at home, see the chef’s recipe below.
Mini Samoa Pudding Cake
Recipe adapted from The Dirty Buffalo
Yields 10 cakes
3 large egg yolks
7 Tbl. egg whites
1 cup & 2 Tbl. buttermilk
1 cup & 2 Tbl. sugar (plus more for dusting)
1/3 cup flour
4 Samoa Cookies, ground
2 tsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbl. light corn syrup
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
2 Tbl. light corn syrup
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Butter 10, 3 oz. ramekins and lightly dust with sugar.
In a mixer, beat together egg yolks and buttermilk until well combined.
Reduce mixer speed and sift in flour, ground Samoas and sugar. Mix until combined.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks arise and gently fold into the Samoa mixture. Divide mixture evenly among ramekins.
Set ramekins in a roasting tray filled halfway with water and bake for 42 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Cool slightly and invert onto a plate.
In a saucepan, bring heavy cream and light corn syrup to a simmer over medium heat.
Remove from heat and add chocolate, whisking together until smooth. Let stand for about 5 minutes until mixture has thickened slightly; whisk occasionally.
Ladle chocolate sauce onto center of cake allowing excess to drip decoratively down the sides.
Garnish with shredded coconut and chill for 1 hour.
In a large saucepan, bring sugar, water and light corn syrup to a boil over medium-high heat. Without stirring, cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until mixture is straw-colored.
Reduce to low heat and continue cooking for another 2 to 5 minutes, swirling saucepan occasionally. Mixture should be amber-colored.
Quickly remove mixture from heat and carefully stir in heavy cream, vanilla and salt. Mixture will bubble and steam; stir until sauce is smooth.
Once caramel has cooled, drizzle over cakes and serve.
The 2018 Samoa Soiree was sponsored by GEICO, Enspyr, Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer P.C. and Newport News Shipbuilding. Media supporters included 2WD 101.3, 13News Now, Coastal Virginia Magazine, Tidewater Women Magazine, VEER Magazine, Yelp and Virginia Eats + Drinks.