NEW YORK, N.Y. — The first day of summer began with a roast and a toast Thursday as five campfire chefs demonstrated their skillet skills at the Redwood Creek Wines Campfire Classic in New York City's Riverside Park. The distinctive smell of fireside cooking wafted through the air as Leah Lyon, an amateur “campicurean” of Ada, Okla., wowed the judges with her award-winning recipe, proving once and for all that campfire cooking has transcended the standard fare of hot dogs and hamburgers.

Lyon's Coal-Roasted Chuckbox Pozole-Stuffed Onions, paired with Redwood Creek's 2005 Pinot Noir, beat out four other regional finalists' original recipes. Lyon took home a $10,000 cash prize and a $5,000 donation to the national park of her choice: Chickasaw National Recreation Area, located in Sulphur, Oklahoma.

Lyon developed her recipe while fueling her passion for the great outdoors. She grew up on a small farm in Oklahoma and still visits the same parks she used to hike in as a young girl.

An avid cook, the inspiration for her delicious recipe came from a recent trip to New Mexico, where a packet of green chile powder caught her attention. Lyon combined the chile powder with one of her favorite foods- grilled onions-and soon, Coal-Roasted Chuckbox Pozole-Stuffed Onions were born.

An esteemed panel of judges-including celebrity chef Bob Blumer of the Food Network's new show Glutton for Punishment and Redwood Creek Winemaker Cal Dennison-chose the winning recipe. Recipes were judged on originality, creativity, taste, presentation and the appropriateness of their wine pairing.

“What I loved most about this dish was its functionality,” says Cal Dennison, Redwood Creek's Winemaker. “Leah's hollowed out onions doubled as perfect camp side bowls filled with great flavor that paired beautifully with the earthy pinot noir.”

For outdoor enthusiasts preparing their own campfire classics this summer, be sure to check out RedwoodCreek.com for some of Chef Blumer's favorite campfire recipes. Redwood Creek encourages cooking and fun in the great outdoors while taking heed of safety precautions. Be sure to check local regulations about campfire cooking before lighting that first blaze.

Redwood Creek wines embody the adventurous spirit of California. Winemaker Cal Dennison has crafted this portfolio of seven food-friendly wines to consistently deliver outstanding quality at an attractive price. Redwood Creek wines are available at retailers nationwide at a suggested retail price ranging from $6.99 to $9.99.

This Week's Circulars