7th Annual Samoa Soiree

Coastal Virginia’s chefs were showing off this weekend at the 7th annual Samoa Soirée hosted by the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and held at the beautiful Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center on the Elizabeth River. The already beloved Girl Scout cookies were elevated and transformed into appetizers and desserts as chefs worked their magic from crushing them into griddle cakes and crusts to whipping them into a minty mousse. Whatever the case, 20 of the area’s restaurants and bakeries showcased their best creations to leave a lasting impression on the guests. Cotton Southern Bistro took home bragging rights for the People’s Choice of the evening. If you weren’t able to attend, I’ve got the lowdown on the evening’s grub:

Twisted Sisters Sugar Shack Café whipped up a fried donut with Tagalong buttercream in the center. A peanut butter glaze and Sweet Baby Jesus ganache swirled around the donut and was topped off with candied bacon bits.

Twisted Sisters Sugar Shack Samoa Soiree 2015

Travinia Italian Kitchen showcased the lemon Savannah Smile cookies crushed into a light, chewy crust. Mascarpone and strawberries embellished this bright tart.

Travinia Italian Kitchen Samoa Soiree 2015

The Vineyards took a savory route with the Tagalong cookie mixing it with sausage, which was then wrapped in bacon. The sausage sat atop homemade crispy polenta and was served with a warm, salty tomato Rah-Rah Raisin sauce.

The Vineyards Samoa Soiree 2015

Ruth's Chris Steak House’s incredibly rich peanut butter cheesecake was served with a bark made with Do-si-dos and Virginia peanuts. Do-si-do cookie powder and its peanut butter filling made the cheesecake, then each mound was topped with crushed cookies.

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse Samoa Soiree 2015

Rocket Fuel Juice Bar and Food Lab twisted the Samoas into ‘s’moras’. Toasted coconut cookies sandwiched a handmade marshmallow and a dapple of dark chocolate ganache. Caramel sauce was drizzled over this classic sweet treat.

Rocket Fuel Juice Bar and Food Lab Samoa Soiree 2015

RJ’s at The Kroc Center served scoops of caramel cheesecake tossed with toasted coconut and Samoa pieces to create a crunchy, creamy bite in this sort of deconstructed commemoration of the cookie.

RJ's at Kroc Center Samoa Soiree 2015

Now You're Cooking Culinary Studio added Asian flair to the Do-si-do cookie. Chicken sausage mixed with cabbage and ginger was then folded into a sweet bread of kolache—a Czech pastry. The peanut butter cookies infused the spicy sriracha sauce.

Now You're Cooking Samoa Soiree 2015

Lucky Oyster piled the tuna high in a tartare topped with a savory Thin Mint mousse and fried leeks. The tartare was served atop fresh avocado and a homemade Savannah Smile cracker.

Lucky Oyster Samoa Soiree 2015

Home Republic Brewpub crossed the Samoa safely into savory territory. Bacon jam cornbread was doused in a Samoa chocolate glaze that closely resembled the spiciness of barbecue sauce. Shredded coconut topped this nibble off.

Home Republic Brewpub Samoa Soiree 2015

Hell's Kitchen brought a taste of summer to the evening with their pineapple goat cheese cheesecake. Drizzled with chocolate ganache and thick slices of toasted coconut propped on each slice, the cheesecake’s Samoa crust was the perfect accompaniment.

Hell's Kitchen Samoa Soiree 2015

gb&d sweet eats brought two sweet creations. Their take on strawberries n’ cream were Trefoil-crusted bars filled with cream cheese and lathered by strawberry jam and milk crumble. The other dessert bar was chock-full of peanut butter creme, homemade marshmallow, banana chips and bacon with a Do-si-do cookie crust.

GB&D Sweets Samoa Soiree 2015 GB&D Sweets Samoa Soiree 2015

Cotton Southern Bistro crafted risotto mounds of chicken, curry and most importantly, Samoa cookies. Presented like a lollipop, this appetizer sat atop a refreshing mint yogurt.

Cotton Southern Bistro Samoa Soiree 2015

Coastal Grill went the cupcake route. Their Do-si-do cupcakes were crusted with Tagalong cookies then finished off with dark chocolate buttercream, smoked bacon and apple bits.

Coastal Grill Samoa Soiree 2015

BRAVO! Cucina Italiana created cushion-like disks of Trefoil cookie griddle cakes topped with braised pork, Samoa mole sauce and lime juice.

Bravo Cucina Italiana Samoa Soiree 2015

AJ Gators served plump shrimp stuffed with a Samoa cookie and toasted coconut crumble drizzled with their homemade tequila lime sauce.

AJ Gator's Samoa Soiree 2015

Farm Fresh took home the Best Savory award for their golden lamb chops with Samoa cookie mashed sweet potatoes.

Farm Fresh Samoa Soiree 2015 lamb chops

Cyprus Grille at Embassy Suites in Hampton won Best in Show for their lobster and Savannah Smiles stuffed shrimp over quinoa stir fry with yuzu jus.

Cypress Grille at Embassy Suites Hampton Samoa Soiree 2015

Anchor Allie’s served up some fun with these miniature quiches topped with smoked salmon.

Anchor Allie's Samoa Soiree 2015

Gateaux Bakery & Café wowed with these delectable, light-as-air macarons .

Gateaux Bakery Samoa Soiree 2015

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