MLT woman’s chocolate cake earns ‘Best of Show’ at Evergreen State Fair

Laura Elhai with the Douglas E. Moeing Memorial Award.

Story and photos by Doug Petrowski

Of the 802 items entered into the baking competitions at this year’s Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, one is judged to be the “Best of Show.” This year that ribbon is being brought home by Mountlake Terrace resident Laura Elhai.

Elhai won the Best of Show award in the adult competition for a chocolate cake. “My family loves that cake for birthdays,” Elhai said. She also won the Sweepstake Ribbon, an award given to the top exhibitor as determined by the number of blue ribbons won. Of her 20 entries at this year’s fair, nine were given first-place blue ribbons and one received a second-place red. She also was awarded seven merit awards for Best of Class achievements.

“I like to bake,” Elhai confessed. As for entering her creations at the fair, she said, “It’s friendly competition, and I also like to compete.” This is the 22nd year that Elhai has entered items into the Evergreen State Fair baking competition.

She may be the most proud of another win she had this year, the Douglas E. Moeing Memorial Award, given to the highest-scoring entrant with items in five divisions: bread, cookies, cakes, pies and candy. As the Moeing Memorial Award winner, Elhai’s name will be engraved on a trophy displayed each year at the fair.

It’s not the only time Elhai’s name has been on a baking trophy at the fair; her name can be found on the Pearl Hall Memorial Award, given to the top scorer in both the Baking and the Food Preservation Departments each year. Elhai won that title in 2007, 2010 and 2011.

So does Elhai spend all her time in the kitchen at home? Not necessarily. “My husband does all the cooking; I do all the baking,” she said. “We just remodeled our kitchen and one of the requirements was to have two ovens, ‘his’ and ‘hers’.”

“Having two ovens keeps peace in the kitchen,” she added.

When not baking, Elhai works full-time in the payroll department at the Starbucks corporate offices in Seattle. She said she bakes plenty of items for her co-workers to sample, getting feedback from them on what is good and what needs improvement. She will be bringing lots of cookies to work this week, using up leftover cookie dough currently frozen in her freezer, she said.

Elhai won’t be resting upon her achievements at the fair this year; she reports that she will be back to compete in Monroe in 2013.

The Evergreen State Fair ended its 11-day run for 2012 on Monday.

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