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Just 16, Myers shows she can really cook

Gina Myers was just 10 years old when she got serious in the kitchen.

Whipping together family dinners at such a young age was equal parts personal interest and necessity. She became the family chef while her mother was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer treatment. By the time she was 13, Myers was catering holiday parties for her father’s colleagues and trying every gourmet recipe she could find the time to test.

Myers won the Every Woman Can cook-off during the Spokane Women’s Show on April 16 with her recipe for Seared Scallops over Spring Pea Gnocchi with Romesco Sauce.

Myers, who is now 16 and plans to attend the Culinary Institute of America in New York next fall, was one of six finalists.

“Choosing food that my mom would like and that was healthy was my main focus,” Myers said in her entry to the competition. “Of course, I was also feeding my dad and two sisters as well. Although it was challenging to find appealing meals for Mom when she was nauseous, I felt happy to be able to help her. It was a way for me to show my support and love, and helped me take my mind off being so scared for her.”

Her mother, Lori, is now a six-year survivor of breast cancer. Look inside today’s Food section for Myers’ recipe.

The other finalists in the competition were Kathy Walker, with a recipe for Hoisin Glazed Wild Salmon in Ginger Broth; Karen King, for Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler; Lacie Clark with Fresh Mint Garden Salad; Jacqui Escott, with a recipe for Oriental Rolls; and Sandra Thiele for Vegetable Chowder with Corn Dumplings.

The other finalists’ recipes can be found on the Every Woman Can website, Click on “cookbook” to search. Or, direct links to the recipes are in a note on the Facebook page for Every Woman Can.

Inland Imaging also will be creating a cookbook from the recipes submitted for the cook-off competition. It will be sold during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. All proceeds will benefit the Every Woman Can campaign, which was created by Inland Imaging to help encourage uninsured or underinsured women get breast cancer screenings.

We’re always looking for fresh food news. Write to: The Fresh Sheet, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. Call (509) 459-5446, fax to (509) 459-5098 or send an email to