WATERVILLE — Brother and sister twins were awarded the top two scholarships Saturday morning after competing in the last of a series of challenges: cooking a three-course meal with surprise ingredients.

The cooking competition, based on the Food Network show “Chopped,” was the final competition in a three-weekend scholarship contest sponsored by Taconnet Federal Credit Union, described as a mini “Amazing Race.”

Lawrence High School senior Sawyer Letourneau won the grand prize of $5,000, and his twin sister, Sasha, won the second place $2,500 scholarship. Erzsebet Nagy, also of Lawrence High School, won a $1,000 scholarship, and Jai Aslam of Messalonskee High School won a $500 scholarship.

On the two previous weekends, the high school seniors swam laps at the Alfond Center, sprayed water from a fire department hose to knock over a chair, answered Jeopardy questions and threw tennis balls blindfolded into buckets, among other events. After several elimination rounds, the original 16 competitors were reduced to the final four students who competed in Saturday’s cooking test.

Each student was paired with a chef from area restaurants and cooked three courses using required surprise ingredients such as canned peaches and onions for one course, or wontons and marshmallows for the dessert. Their plates were judged by the chefs for taste and presentation.

Georgia Conley, a board member with Taconnet, said the 16 students were chosen to compete after submitting an essay, which was judged anonymously by representatives of local businesses.

Conley said the competition is a fun way for students to compete for a scholarships that isn’t contingent on the students’ GPA.

Sasha Letourneau said she liked the way the community came together to host the event, with area firefighters, police officers and business owners running the different challenges.

The four scholarship winners agreed one of their favorite challenges was the Winslow Police Department’s police-academy themed challenge which included running a timed obstacle course, dragging a 165-pound dummy and performing mock arrests.

Sawyer Letourneau said the competitors were shuttled between tasks in a van. He said it was exciting to be surprised by each challenge upon arrival.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252
[email protected]


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