Prize-winning cook goes for gold with chicken


March 17, 1997|By Lyn Backe | Lyn Backe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CHICKEN WITH mushrooms and fresh sage cream chicken with pecan parsley cream chicken with roasted peppers and dilled Marsala sauce. It's a safe guess that Annapolitan Julia Fox likes chicken, and the receptive palette it offers for a cook who loves to create flavorful masterpieces. (Bear with me -- I love mixing metaphors as much as I love mixing tastes.)

The mushroom/sage recipe won Fox the Delmarva Chicken Cooking Contest in June last year. Her prizes included a Caribbean cruise, a new stove, pots and pans and utensils, and $1,000.

The other recipes have put her in the running for gold in two more contests next month. She'll be making chicken with roasted peppers for the finals of the "Chicken Nationals" in Hilton Head the first weekend in April, and chicken with pecan parsley cream for a Cooking Light magazine contest the third weekend in Birmingham, Ala.

Not bad for a not-quite-29-year-old free-lance graphic designer, who only started cooking after college, when the all-you-can-eat buffet in the dorm was no longer available. "I figured if I was going to survive, I'd better start cooking," she says.

Julia's graphic focus is a big help in her contest submissions, as most contests consider presentation as well as taste and degree of difficulty. Her husband, Joel, is a great tester, she said. "He'll eat anything."

Julia generously offered to share her recipes (which all feature fresh and low-fat ingredients, despite their luscious names) before she wins and gets famous. E-mail your request to her at and wish her good luck in April.

You also could send a self-addressed stamped envelope, with a note saying which recipe(s) you want, to me c/o The Sun's Arundel Office, 8131 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena 21122.

Parking in Annapolis

I waxed less than poetic in this space a couple of years ago when the city of Annapolis extended its parking meter hours well into the evening and made an effort to raise meter fees as well.

So, it's only fair to give equal space to a new program that gives first-hour free parking at the city's two public garages 24 hours a day every day of the year. It's an unapologetic attempt to overcome the impression of many locals and visitors that no parking is available downtown. The garages generally have spots, particularly on weekends.

For information on city garage locations, the Park and Shop program that provides up to four hours of free parking, and state parking lots available to the public on weekends, call the Greater Annapolis Chamber of Commerce at 410-268-7676.

Then explore your local treasure, without risk of an "Annapolis Memory," an atrociously expensive parking ticket. (If you suspect that I know whereof I speak, you're right.)

London Town training

Parking is not a problem at London Town House and Gardens, which welcomes volunteers with an interest in gardening. A series of seven two-hour training sessions begins at 10 a.m. Thursday with an "Introduction to the Garden." The series prepares volunteers to give tours of the woodland gardens, providing history, an insight into plant collections and identification of plants.

For information on the volunteer training series, its scope and its volunteer opportunities and requirements, call Christine Coffin or Sue Takesian at 410-224-1919.

Awards, opportunities

What awards have your colleagues or fellow volunteers won recently? What special opportunities is your neighborhood group offering this summer? What program have you and your neighbors come up with that has made a difference and that could be copied or adapted a few miles down the road? Call me with your ideas for neighbors who should be featured here. I'll return the calls I get at 410-626-0273 and e-mail messages at

Pub Date: 3/17/97

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