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Bethesda woman wins national cooking contest

By Aaron Kraut

Wednesday - 5/1/2013, 3:10pm  ET

Bethesda's Laurie Webber won a national cooking contest with this item, 
inspired by La Madeleine's tomato basil soup. Photo via La MadeleineA Bethesda woman won a trip to France for a creative dish in a national restaurant chain’s recipe contest.

Laurie Webber won La Madeleine Country French Cafe’s “Recipe to Paris” contest with her Tomato Basil Mini Pochettes, puff pastry filled with cheese and the restaurant’s Tomato Basil soup. The contest required participants to create an original recipe using the soup.

There were about 5,000 votes on the more than 200 recipes in the three-week contest.

Webber learned of the contest at the downtown Bethesda La Madeleine at 7607 Old Georgetown Road. She tested out the pochettes on friends and family members, then started asking people for votes once she found out she was a finalist. Her daughters named the dish.

Webber will get a week-long trip to France that will include tours of Paris and vineyards and fruit orchards in the Loire Valley.

During the contest, the Dallas-based chain donated $1 to the Children’s Hunger Fund for each jar of Tomato Basil that was purchased. They will donate $11,514.

Photo from La Madeleine via Facebook