On one side of the table, Mary Carr. On the other, son-in-law Tom Coffey. In front of each: a foil tray filled with simmering Irish stew. Her stew. His stew. And only one stew can be … the best. It’s Mom vs. Tom.
On this Sunday afternoon at Finnigan’s Wake in Northern Liberties … Tom is the winner. His Irish stew is judged the best in the amateur category at the Sixth Annual Great Irish Stew Cook-Off, sponsored by the Hibernian Hunger Project.
Tom Coffey accepted his award with grace. Of Mary Carr, he said, “She needed a good ass whuppin’.”
But seriously, now, folks … “She (Mary) is a good sport,” says Tom. “I didn’t marry my wife. I married a family, and they’re a very social group.”
So no worries about where Tom Coffey will have Easter dinner. Rivalry aside, Tom’s making dinner. “And I always invite myself,” he says.
Here are the other winners:
- Hibernian: Maryanne Burnett (LAOH 87)
- Irish Organization: Helen DeGrand (Mayo Association)
- Professional: Josh Landau (a 2007 winner)
- People’s Choice: Team Kerrigan (a 2009 winner)