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HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Slicing and Dicing

Sen. Tom Udall can now argue he’s the best chef in Congress.

The New Mexico Democrat and his wife, Jill, captured the “Best in Show— award at Wednesday night’s March of Dimes Gourmet Gala. The annual fundraiser saw Congressional VIPs competing in a heated cook-off, serving guests a sample of hors d’oeuvres prepared from a recipe Members picked themselves.

[IMGCAP(1)]The Udalls captured the top award for their “Watermelon Pine Nut Gazpacho.—

Udall credited his wife for the win. “Jill did this all on her own,— he said, adding that the only things “she did for the last 24 hours is cooking and chopping.—

Local celebrity chefs judged the recipes, including Geoff Tracy from Chef Geoff’s, Bart Vandaele from Belga Cafe, Ris Lacoste from Ris, Rodney Scruggs from the Occidental and Roger Wiles from Ocean M.

Freshman Senators fared well in the competition. Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) and his wife, Vicki, captured the “Best Presentation Award— for their “Idaho Potato Lollipops.—

“I want to encourage you all to eat Idaho potatoes, but Vicki and I are ranchers, so buy a little beef when you buy those Idaho potatoes,— Risch said in his acceptance speech.

Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) and his wife, Vicki, captured the “Health and Happiness— award for their “Skinny Dippin’ KS Style— dip recipe, which “is essentially low-fat and nutritious.— The “Easiest Preparation— award went to Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) and his wife, Terry, for their “Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Bundles— recipe, which the judges picked as the best tasting recipe that’s also “the easiest to prepare.—

And Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) and his wife, Alfredia, won the “American Regional Cuisine— prize for their “Creamy Grits with Shrimp— recipe, which used the “best-tasting ingredients indigenous to the locale.—

“I’m glad so many of you enjoyed the creamy grits and shrimp. I love ’em,— Alfredia Scott said in her acceptance speech.

Celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz also spoke at the gala, which raised more than $635,000 for the March of Dimes.

Other Congressional VIPs competing in the event included House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D) with his “Maryland Crab Cakes— and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) and his wife, former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, with their “Kentucky Derby Pie.—

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