NoFo Tomato Sauce Boss contest returns Thursday

Who has the best sauce on the North Fork? Victoria Witczak of Cutchogue, 13, will be the judge of that. She is inviting locals to bring a pot of their homemade red sauce to Pugliese Vineyards in Cutchogue where she’ll crown the winner the “Sauce Boss.”

Victoria created the NoFo Tomato Sauce contest two years ago as a way repay a grant she received from Katie’s Krops, a national nonprofit organization that awards grants to students for the purpose of planting gardens and donating the harvests to those in need.  Victoria is a two-time grant recipient and has used the money to grow produce that she donates to local food pantries.

“I’m very happy that we’re having another year of the contest,” Victoria said. “I want to do it every year to help out organizations to help our community. I started doing this because I wanted to help people less fortunate in the beginning, when I created the garden. But now it’s more about supporting the community and teaching people the value of eating healthy food and getting the community together.”

This year, she used grant money from Katie’s Krops to plant a vegetable garden at Sang Lee Farms in Cutchogue with the help of manager Lucy Senesac. Victoria started her seeds in the greenhouse and then transferred them to her backyard garden where she and her father built four raised beds of vegetables.

Victoria has given away roughly 150 pounds of produce — tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants and kale —to CAST, Crops for Cancer and the North Fork United Methodist Church this year.

The teenager has also joined with the Wellness Foundation of Sag Harbor, which brings wellness programs to local schools and teaches students to make healthy choices.

Victoria is looking for North Forkers to enter their delicious sauces into the contest, which will be judged by community members and local chefs. Panera Bread will be donating tasting bread, and Simply Sublime, Bay Breeze Inn, North Fork Doughnut Co. and Crazy Beans will be among the local restaurants partaking in judging the sauce. Awards will be given in the people’s choice and the chef’s choice categories.

The contest takes place on Thursday, August 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 per taster; $25 per tasting family.

Email NOFOSauceBoss@gmail.com with your name, age, address, phone number and sauce name to enter your recipe in the competition.