DuPage Fair Pie Baking Contest

Politicians are used to “duking” it out with other politicians over issues and votes. But one competition at the DuPage County Fair took some well-known local politicos out of their comfort zone– a culinary competition.

Two such officials were Naperville City Councilman, Robert Fieseler, and Mayor A. George Pradel. They’re allies in their day job, but on this occasion, a pie baking competition pitted the two against each other.

The contest at the DuPage County Fair provided elected officials from Naperville, Winfield, and Warrenville a chance to get together for an event less political than they’re used to. In past years, officials competed in cow milking and hog calling.

“We get a chance to interact with some towns that… sometimes we have difficult issues,” said Fieseler.

With that in mind, Fieseler still took the competition seriously, as he practiced his pie baking skills at home during the week leading up to the contest. He eventually decided on cooking a one-crust pie, as opposed to the traditional two-crust design.

“I kind of took the ‘best of,’ of all those recipes,” said Fiesler. “[The pie being entered for the contest] is one I call the ‘Joe Naper Apple Comfort Pie.’”

The judges had four different pies to choose from. Councilman Fieseler’s secret ingredient was Southern Comfort Bourbon, a favorite of famous Naperville resident, Joe Naper.

“…It takes a lot of guts to do an open-face pie,” said event judge, Annie Overboe, “because you’re going to be seeing [the inside of the pie], so we really liked that.”

While the judges appreciated these risks, Councilman Fieseler was ultimately awarded with second place.

First place went to Deborah Birutis, President of the Village of Winfield.

Warrenville City Clerk Emily Larson and Pradel tied for third in the contest.

“It’s just a good, clean competition, just to make sure that we remember our heritage,” said Pradel.

Despite the second-place finish, Councilman Fielser was happy with his pie. “I just wish that I had brought the rest of that Southern Comfort to help me calm down,” said Fieseler. “I’m all hopped up!”

It seems the process wasn’t as easy as apple pie for Fiesler, but he said he would do the contest again in a heartbeat.

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