By Christine Valdez
Web Production Assistant
Some entries from New Jersey were featured among those received nationwide. In this year’s contest, two New Jersey contestants made it through the various stages of the contest — Jeanvive Castrati from Moorestown and Peri Cook from Alpine. Both kids made it through and were selected among the top 10 entries for the most creative sandwiches.
In order to submit an entry, each recipe had to contain at least two tablespoons of Jif Peanut Butter, but that didn’t dissuade Castrati from entering, according to mom Dawn Castrati.
“She loves to be in the kitchen, she loves to bake. I think that was her biggest interest in that contest,” said Dawn Castrati.
Jeanvive entered the contest after hearing about it through her school.
Besides submitting their own creative sandwich using Jif Peanut Butter, entries were judged based on creativity, taste, visual appeal and ease of preparation, according to the contest rules.
The contest, which began last August, has gone through several phases leading up to the selection of the winner. From January until February an online voting process was available and when the votes were tallied, the only New Jerseyan to make it to the final phase of the competition was Jeanvive Castrati.
Cook made it into the top 10 finalists and finished among the top 10 following the voting portion of the contest. Cook was awarded a with Jif Peanut Butter Basket.
As a top five finalist, Jeanvive was awarded with a honorable mention and a prize of a Jif gift basket and a $2,500 college fund. Jeanvive, along with the other four finalists, attended an event in New York City for the announcement of the grand prize winner. Leah T. of Allentown, Pa. was crowned the grand prize winner for the Crunchy, Creamy, Dreamy Finger Sandwich.
Regardless of where Jeanvive ended in the competition, Dawn said that she is impressed and proud of her.
“I am totally impressed,” said Dawn. “So proud of her. I will never question her entering a contest again because she can do it.”