Slavic Bakers Invited to Show Their Skills

Kolachi, Chrusciki and Banitsa took the place of cupcakes and cookies in Slavic homes

2014 Simply Slavic Baking Contest Winners

Growing up Slavic in the Mahoning Valley meant slices of kolachi or homemade chrusciki in your lunch box instead of Twinkies and Oreos. The organizers of Simply Slavic want to encourage the perpetuation of those recipes and traditions.

One way they do so is the Annual Slavic Baking Competition to be held at the 5th Annual Simply Slavic Festival on Saturday, June 20th 2015. Organizers are inviting the region’s best amateur bakers to put their favorite recipe to the test!

This fun, friendly contest encourages talented amateur bakers to show their skills by putting their favorite ethnic bake goods and recipes in front of local Slavic celeb judges. Entries will be judged on three criteria – Taste (50%), Authenticity (25%) and Presentation (25%).

Interested participants should submit their entry form with a $5 non-refundable entry fee, and a description of 100 words or less. The entry form, which includes complete contest rules and information, is available online at Remember to highlight pertinent information like its Slavic roots, holidays at which it might be used and where you first ate it. Mail it to Simply Slavic Baking Contest, 4442 Rita Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44515. Entries will be accepted until Monday, June 15, 2015.

On the day of the event, participants will then bring their entries to the Baking Contest table at the Simply Slavic Festival, inside Joe Maxx Coffee Shop (Realty Tower, street level), no later than 1:00 PM. Judging begins at 2:00 PM. Contestants are asked to bring two of the baked items (or two dozen of cookies) packaged separately. No baked goods can be submitted or will be accepted that have to be frozen, refrigerated or heated. Entry will be presented to judges at room temperature. Entries must be from non-professionals. Professional is defined as a person who is paid or has been paid to cook or bake.

For more information call Mary Margaret Hovanes at 330-792-6281 or email

2014 Simply Slavic Baking Contest Winners (L-R) 2nd place Nancy Backur; 3rd place Joanne DuVall; and 1st place Tina Kivach-Olexo, who won for her cheese strudel. In addition to prizes, Kivach-Olexo was won.