FRANKENMUTH – Chefs and bakers from across Michigan competed Monday, Oct. 28, at the annual Zehnder’s Squashtoberfest at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth.

The contest was sponsored by Zehnder’s, WSGW, Tomac Pumpkin Patch, Le Creuset and Michigan Sugar Company.

Thirty participants took part in the event, competing in three categories: Soup, Sweet and Savory. Volunteer judges chose the top three dishes in each category.

Here is a list of the top three finishers in each category. Each of them received a prize package, including white granulated sugar from Michigan Sugar Company.

Soup Category

1st Place – Rhonda Marvin, Laingsburg, Squash Mac & Cheese Soup.

2nd Place – Betty Timmreck, Eau Claire, Creamy Zucchini-Sausage Soup.

3rd Place – Sally Sibthorpe, Shelby Township, Beer, Bacon and Butternut Soup.

Sweet Category

1st Place – Donna Bardocz, Howell, Pumpkin Love at First Bite.

2nd Place – Cheryl Williams, Bay City, Crumbly Pumpkin Surprise Pie.

3rd Place – Carol Socier, Bay City, Caramel Apple Pumpkin Cake.

Savory Category

1st Place – Donna Costello, Clifford, Yummy Chicken Zucchini Bake.

2nd Place – Pamela Gilbeau, Dearborn, Butternut Squash and Potato Gnocchi with Herb Cream Sauce.

3rd Place – Colleen Gawrylowicz, Caro, Fancied Up Fall Risotto with Brussels.

In addition, two other competitions took place during Squashtoberfest. The first was The Best Creative Homemade Jam, Jelly or Preserve contest with the winners selected by a vote of those in attendance. Here are the winners:

The Best Creative Homemade Jam, Jelly or Preserve contest

1st Place – Martie McCartin, Brighton, Chunky Cherry Berry Jam with Amaretto.

2nd Place – Cheryl Williams, Bay City, Chocolate Cherry Jam.

3rd Place – Melissa Kildow, Grand Blanc, Italian Strawberry Ice Cream Jam.

Returning for a second year at Squashtoberfest was the Pati Lalonde Culinary Stars Competition, featuring students from the Bay-Arenac Career Center, Saginaw Career Center and Tuscola County Technology Center competing for cash prizes. The competition honors Pati Lalonde, a longtime reporter and writer for The Bay City Times who was dedicated to coverage of the culinary arts.

Each team prepared a cake, pie and bread for the panel of judges. The first-place team received $1,000; second place took home $500 and the third-place team won $250.

Here is how the teams finished:

Pati Lalonde Culinary Stars Competition

1st Place – Saginaw Career Center – Erikka Wilkins, Alaina Andersen and Kathryn Lamont.

2nd Place – Tuscola County Career Center – Greg Goodfellow, Madison Haley, Reese Campbell, Grace Middleton, Aliyah Sanchez and Wyatt Emmons.

3rd Place –Bay-Arenac Career Center – Hannah Miller, Lydia Wiggins, Isabelle Reinbold and Megan Samborn.

Other Squashtoberfest activities included a cookie-decorating contest, free samples of soup, sweets and savory dishes for those in attendance and a presentation about gourds by Tomac Pumpkin Patch.