Victory not so sweet for pie-eating champ

Posted: September 23, 2013

The Winchester Star

Troy Hendrickson of Lovettsville was one of eight participants and eventual winner of the White House Apple Pie Eating contest on Sunday at the Winchester Rotary Club's 39th Apple Harvest Arts and Crafts Festival in Jim Barnett Park. (Photo by Ginger Perry)

WINCHESTER — In just under eight minutes, eight contestants pretty much demolished eight pies in the White House Apple Pie Eating Contest at the Apple Harvest Arts and Crafts Festival on Sunday.

Cheered on by family and friends, hands behind their backs, the competitors used teeth to flip the pies out of their aluminum pans and buried lips and chins — and sometimes noses — in the sweet confections.

The winner of the contest won $250.

Taking home that cash was Troy Hendrickson of Lovettsville, who didn’t have any plans to enter the contest until he arrived at the two-day festival hosted by the Rotary Club of Winchester.

It was his first eating contest, “and it might be the last,” he said.

Hendrickson was seriously challenged by Todd Brinson, who lost some time when part of his pie hit the ground. A serious competitor, Brinson went to the asphalt after the wayward dessert.

Contest Cara Gorman’s laughter at comments made by contest emcee Barry Lee of WINC FM radio station put her out of the running.

The Winchester resident was only halfway through her pie when Hendrickson stood up to claim victory.

Hendrickson, a home inspector, stands 6 feet, 4 inches tall and seems to have room on his frame for a whole pie.

He said apple was one of his favorite flavors, but after the contest, “maybe not now.”

“I’m just glad it wasn’t coconut cream,” which is his favorite, he said. Hendrickson didn’t want to lose his taste for that one.

Gorman, however, won’t have any trouble continuing to eat apple pie.

“I was surprised how good it was,” she said of the pie.

All eight were baked by Beverley Fowler for Paige Gum of Winchester-based White House Foods, an apple processing facility.

Gum organized the contest and provided baskets of White House products for all the contestants.

“It’s a fun event,” she said. “People have a lot of fun doing it.”

For those who didn’t get a chance to taste the pies, Gum said the White House food booth offered apple dumplings, also made by Fowler.

The secret, said the pie baker, is using White House apple pie filling.

— Contact Val Van Meter at