CHEFS TAP MAPLE SYRUP FOR RECIPE CONTEST -- Public to Choose Winner at Stamford Museum & Nature Center --

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STAMFORD, Conn., Feb. 27, 2012 ─  Four chefs will compete in First County Bank’s Chefs Challenge event at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center during this week’s Maple Sugar Festival Weekend.  On Saturday, March 3, chefs will compete to create the best tasting recipe, as judged by the public, using maple syrup as an ingredient.

The Stamford Museum & Nature Center has extended its Maple Sugar Festival to a weekend event starting March 3.  This year marks the 12th anniversary First County Bank has sponsored this family festival highlighting the New England tradition of maple sugaring. 

From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on March 3, Nikki Glekas, owner and chef at Eos Greek Cuisine in Stamford, Susan Kane, of Susan Kane Catering in Stamford, Jonathan Mathias, owner of A Dash of Salt in Norwalk, and David Cingari, owner of David’s Soundview Catering, are scheduled to present their creations for the public to sample.  The public will vote for its favorite creation and the winning recipe will be announced at 2 p.m.

“Since we started the First County Bank Chefs Challenge in 2010, it has been a very enjoyable event for the public and we wanted to continue that tradition,” said Karen Kelly, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at First County Bank.  “These competing chefs have created some terrific recipes for the public to judge.  First County Bank appreciates their participation and looks forward to a fun-filled weekend of eating, learning and enjoying the outdoors.”

“Maple syrup is a wonderful local ingredient – I’ve tapped trees in my backyard and made my own syrup.  I can’t wait to taste the delicious creations of these talented chefs at the event Saturday,” said Elizabeth Keyser who will emcee the awards announcement.  Keyser is a food writer who contributes regularly to publications and Web sites, including Connecticut Magazine and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.  She is the Connecticut editor for the Zagat Restaurant Survey.

 About the Chefs

Nikki, Jimmy, Dina and Elini Glekas, owners of Eos Greek Cuisine, are working on a Greek maple syrup dessert table, including maple syrup baklava, maple and fig over Greek yogurt, and a maple syrup bread pudding.  Eos is located at 490 Summer St. in Stamford, visit its Web site for additional information www.eosgreekcuisine.com.

Susan Kane, owner and culinary chef at Susan Kane Catering, is known for her catering service and event planning.  The company serves Fairfield and Westchester counties, as well as Manhattan, eastern Long Island and the greater Hartford area.  Susan Kane Catering is located at 28 Bouton St. in South Norwalk, or visit its Web site at www.susankanecatering.com.

Jonathan Mathias, owner of A Dash of Salt, graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute of America in 1981 and ever since dedicated himself to the field by constantly acquiring new knowledge and passing it on to apprentice chefs.  A Dash of Salt is a full-service caterer and event planner with a broad range of experience.  A Dash of Salt is located on Old Kings Highway in Weston, or visit its Web site at www.adashofsaltcooking.com.

David Cingari, chef/owner of David’s Soundview Catering, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.  Cingari opened his gourmet catering company serving Connecticut and New York in 1988.  David’s Soundview Catering is located at 471 Elm St. in Stamford, or visit its Web site at www.davidscatering.com.  

About First County Bank Maple Sugar Festival Weekend

The First County Bank Maple Sugar Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, March 3-4, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. rain or shine.  The maple sugar season usually peaks around the first week in March.  At this family festival, visitors will see maple sugar and tree tapping demonstrations, taste sweet maple syrup treats, make a maple-themed craft, go on a scavenger hunt and enjoy the popular Sunday pancake brunch.

Other activities include face painting, storytelling, music and much more.  A daily admission fee of $5 will be charged to museum members while non-members will have to pay $10.  All children 3 and under, Family Plus and above members are allowed in free.

Stamford Museum & Nature Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of art, natural and agricultural sciences, and history.  The museum is a vital cultural and educational resource for the community, and a focal point for family activity and interaction, seeking to inspire creativity, foster self-discovery, and nurture an appreciation for lifelong learning through exhibitions, educational programs and special events that enhance the visitor's experience.  Stamford Museum & Nature Center is located at 39 Scofieldtown Rd. in Stamford (three-quarters of a mile north of Merritt Parkway Exit 35).  For more information, visit www.stamfordmuseum.org

First County Bank, headquartered in Stamford, Conn. for more than 160 years, is an independent mutual community bank with 15 branches in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk and Westport offering deposit products, mortgages, trust and investment services, business banking services and online banking.  First County Bank has more than 220 employees and assets in excess of $1.3 billion.  For additional information, please visit www.firstcountybank.com.  Become a fan by clicking “Like” on the bank’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/firstcountybank.  Follow it on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/firstcountybank or look for First County Bank on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/company/920207.

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