Young people capture top honors in best cookie contests

By Corey Pride / Cpride@losbanosenterprise.comMay 10, 2013 

The Best Ever Cookie Contest and the Kids Best Ever Baking Contest had something in common this year -- youth.

Both contests were held May 2 and featured youngsters grabbing top honors. Admittedly one of the competitions excluded adults, nevertheless the crossover wins established the presence of minors as serious contenders for best bakers at the Merced County Spring Fair.

Sydney Gerstenberg, 16, took first place in the Best Ever Cookie Contest's chocolate chip and oatmeal cookie divisions.

"I've been baking a couple years and I enjoy it," Gerstenberg said.

The cookie-baking gene may run in the family as her sister Kendra, 12, won for her Oatmeal Supreme cookie in the Kids Best Ever Baking Contest.

"I'm really happy I won. Last year I entered and I didn't win anything," Kendra Gerstenberg said.

A friendly sibling rivalry may be on the horizon as well. Sydney said she has no plans to let her sister surpass her as top baker in the family.

Sophia Castro, 13, also beat out the adults. Castro's pumpkin spice cookies won first place in the "any other" category. Castro also baked a cinnamon-flavored pie that won in the "cake or pie" category in the Kids Best Ever Baking Contest.

"I'm surprised, I didn't expect this," Castro said of her two wins.

Cynthia Chuvichien, who placed second to Sydney Gerstenberg in the oatmeal cookie category, said she's happy to see young people participating in the contests.

"That's what it's all about, the younger generation. I like seeing them enter the contests," she said.

Chuvichien said she's not bothered by coming in second.

"I'm happy," she said. "I'm always happy I'm at the fair."

Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached at 209-388-6563 or by e-mail at

Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached at 209-388-6563 or by e-mail at

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