As R&B Fills The Air, Mexican Sweet Corn Pie Takes The Prize

Some arrived for the tunes, some arrived for the pies, and other individuals just arrived for the vibes.

That was the scene Monday evening as nearly 100 people gathered in Beecher Park driving Westville’s Mitchell department library. They established up picnic mats and charcuterie spreads. at the 2nd day of the Hi-Fi Pie Fest, which commenced past 7 days with a berry pie baking competitors. Many thanks to a lot more promising climate, this week’s edition incorporated a resumption of dwell tunes and outside eating as nicely as the weekly pie-off.

The 8 varieties of savory pie created for this week’s baking experience-off offered out in just the hour, with returning winner Libby Abraham getting residence the winning prize.

Meanwhile, New Haven’s Manny James and his band carried out a blend of soul and pop tunes for the Westville group.

“This is my 1st time executing in front of people due to the fact the pandemic!” explained James. “I want individuals to go dwelling emotion fantastic about their working day — imagining that they’ve viewed one thing unique.”

James, his guitarist Pete Greco, and saxophone player Tim Kane initially carried out at the Hello-Fi Pie pageant in 2019. The trio has been generating songs together for 10 many years. Soon after doing several deal with tracks and originals, James sang the Temptations’ “My Girl” by The Temptations since he felt that the crowd “would take pleasure in the Motown energy”.

That guess was on the cash for jazz and blues historian Ted Goetz, who has been coming to the Hello-Fi Pie competition for the past four decades. Goetz and his buddy Lynne Tourville set up garden chairs right in front of James and his band.

“We like coming for the music,” stated Goetz. “The ambiance, in typical, is invigorating and refreshing.”

Saxophonist Kane’s wife Jaime Kane and her mate Deidre Fox also arrived for the tunes. They have been coming to the Hello-Fi Pie festival ever considering that it very first started off in 2012 Kane utilized to aid arrange and serve the pies. This calendar year the pair arrived to sample the pies on their own.

“I’d have hassle choosing which a person I like much better,” explained Kane, who bought slices of returning baker Miriam Berkman’s Leek and Tomato Pie and a summer squash pie. Kane paired it with a cup of Gelato Giuliana’s coconut sorbet, which was sold at the event.

“We’ve just occur off the heart of the pandemic, and getting into back into these community functions feels so terrific,” mentioned Kane.

Berkman claimed her pie was an outdated favored family recipe. Though she enjoys the pies, what actually brought her again this week was the local community.


“I seriously like the pleasant neighborhood vitality,” she stated when standing in line for a slice of 13-12 months-aged baker Sam Ridky’s Triple egg quiche — which boasted a taste mix of cheddar, feta, spinach, hen, and sausage.

Ridky, who served serve the pies this week, said his quiche utilised duck, quail, and chicken eggs from his have backyard. He described that his household started out raising much more birds to quell the boredom of quarantine.

While there had been 4 younger opponents in previous week’s berry pie classification, only Ridky returned this week. Ridky mentioned that is simply because his cousins, like final week’s 12-calendar year-old winner Vivian Balazs, weren’t in the city this Monday.

This week’s judges were being Ana De Los Angeles, the operator of Amaru Peruvian Bistro and Manjares and Gretchen Frazier, who received an honorable mention for her gluten-totally free pie in 2014. Even though there were some excellent contenders, equally agreed on a apparent winner.

“This is 100 p.c the range one,” De Los Angeles explained when sampling Libby Abraham’s Mexican Sweet Corn Pie. “The lime tends to make it quite intriguing, and the crust is so excellent!”

De Los Angeles claimed a good pie is distinguished by a flaky pastry and the composition of the layers of ingredients. She utilised to make a lot of of her possess apple, sweet potato, cranberry, and pecan pies when she first opened her restaurant.

For Frazier, a pie ought to have wonderful presentation and a basic but productive mix of components. Which is what established Abraham’s pie aside for her.


“The lime is just a little sweet but not distracting,” said Frazier. “I love the way the levels are quite unique from just one a different.”

Abraham was awarded a $75 present card for food items and drinks at Manjares and Amaru. The Ansonia Higher University instructor and mom of 3 is no stranger to the Hello-Fi Pie Fest. She has been coming to the pageant for five several years and has received two separate moments for her “Corn and Custard pie” and her “Bakewell tart.”


“This year I seemed at my preferred recipes and blended them into something seasonal,” explained Abraham, who utilised corn from the Edgewood farmers industry in her pie. “The crust and inside of of my pie this yr are two various recipes!”

Abraham stated she combined the recipes because the cornmeal cheddar crust has a good crunchy texture which paired properly with the creaminess and juiciness of the corn within. She extra that with out her 8-calendar year-outdated son Mordecai, the pie would not have been feasible — he aided shuck the corn.

Meanwhile, Matthew Schmidt and his family won an honorable point out and a Hello-Fi Pie Fest T-shirt for owning the very best presentation of their Borough Current market Pasties. Schmidt collected the prize with his 10-week-outdated daughter Phillippa cradled in a single arm.

“My daughter Theodora [Anderholt] took care of the presentation with the flowers in the basket,” claimed Schmidt. “My wife Charlotte [Anderholt] built the dough. I just produced the filling and took the credit score!”

Anderholt defined that the recipe was encouraged by a pork pie the pair ate at Borough Market place in London. She mentioned they produced the similar pasties for the Hello-Fi Pie pageant in 2018.

Katie Bradley won an honorable mention for her Roasted Curry Tomato pie, that includes jalapeno peppers, curry, turmeric, and onion. It was 1 of the dishes that pie lover Leo Taylor sampled when returning to the competition for the second week in a row.

Nine bakers competed. Head organizer and “Pie Boss” Naomi Senzer expects more persons to bake next 7 days in the stone fruit pie class.


“We have all been waiting around so lengthy to eat pie jointly,” explained Senzer in a speech to the group. “It’s variety of unbelievable.”