Record Number of Visitors to Annual Pesto Festo

Abby and Rick Hess were awarded Most Creative honors at Pesto Festo for their Smokey Tomato Pesto.

After hosting the same event for seven years, the Door County Master Gardeners might be forgiven for thinking there were no surprises in store for Taste of the Garden Door. This year’s Pesto Festo as part of the Taste of the Garden Door event was a day of “mosts.” It boasted the most pesto entries ever submitted – 21. A record number of visitors attended the event – 625. Of those 625 attendees, 374 cast a record number of votes in the Pesto Festo People’s Choice contest, awarding the engraved pesto bowl to Jean Laundrie for her Greek Pesto.

It was also a day of firsts as the first father and daughter team, Paul and Aysel Hamlin, won the first place title of Most Savory for their Pistachio and Parsley Pesto entry.

Other awards include: second place to Lori Holtz for her Minty Pea Pesto, third to Jean Laundrie for her Greek Pesto and Most Creative to Rick and Abby Hess for their Smokey Tomato Pesto, with a special mention for Ruthi Henrichs’ Black Bean and Roasted Tomato Tapenade. Recipes for the winning pesto entries are available at