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Quick save pulls Walnut Creek ‘Healthy Cookoff Challenge’ team from fire |

Quick save pulls Walnut Creek ‘Healthy Cookoff Challenge’ team from fire

On TV cooking shows like “Chopped,” contestants are on the clock to create dishes on which they are judged. The Walnut Creek team taking part in the Contra Costa County Mayors’ Healthy Cookoff Challenge July 27 at Todos Santos Plaza in Concord found itself under a serious time deadline, too, when Mayor Rich Carlston discovered he was minus some key ingredients — namely, pots, pans and any cookware at all.

That’s when two brothers — one a retired city employee, the other a current one — pulled the situation out of the (cooking) fire.


Karlan Larson, Walnut Creek’s traffic control supervisor, had been asked to bring the city’s outdoor cooking grills to the park, and he did. He said he had expected to “drop the barbecues and run” but that Carlston asked him to stay for the competition.

It wasn’t long before he saw Carlston “looking frantic,” saying his team didn’t have any cookware. (At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Carlston said there had been a “miscommunication” about who was to bring the cookware). They had 25 minutes until the cooking started to equip themselves, and would have had to forfeit if they couldn’t start preparing their meal by then.

Carlston was about to hand Larson money to buy new stuff, but there simply wasn’t time. Instead, Karlan called his brother, Kurt Larson, a retired Walnut Creek city employee, who lives nearby. “I said, ‘Can you bring some pots and pans down here right now,’ or else we would forfeit,” Karlan said. With cellphone in hand, Karlan asked Justine Kelly from Rooftop in Walnut Creek, the Walnut Creek team’s lead chef this day, what stuff she needed.

“She told me a variety of pans and types and sizes,” Karlan said. “I turned away and said, ‘Kurt, just bring anything you can.’ He didn’t have any professional cookware.”

Whatever Kurt brought worked well enough to help the Walnut Creek team win the 2017 cooking challenge, the ninth annual competition. And Carlston thanked the brothers publicly at the council meeting.

Kurt told the council audience, “I took down there these old pots and pans that I had, and brought home gourmet, prize-winning cookware. …. I didn’t want to tell (Justine Kelly), the only thing I’d ever heated up in those things was Spaghetti-O’s.”

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Quick save pulls Walnut Creek ‘Healthy Cookoff Challenge’ team from fire

On TV cooking shows like “Chopped,” contestants are on the clock to create dishes on which they are judged. The Walnut Creek team taking part in the Contra Costa County Mayors’ Healthy Cookoff Challenge July 27 at Todos Santos Plaza in Concord found itself under a serious time deadline, too, when Mayor Rich Carlston discovered he was minus some key ingredients — namely, pots, pans and any cookware at all.

That’s when two brothers — one a retired city employee, the other a current one — pulled the situation out of the (cooking) fire.


Karlan Larson, Walnut Creek’s traffic control supervisor, had been asked to bring the city’s outdoor cooking grills to the park, and he did. He said he had expected to “drop the barbecues and run” but that Carlston asked him to stay for the competition.

It wasn’t long before he saw Carlston “looking frantic,” saying his team didn’t have any cookware. (At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Carlston said there had been a “miscommunication” about who was to bring the cookware). They had 25 minutes until the cooking started to equip themselves, and would have had to forfeit if they couldn’t start preparing their meal by then.

Carlston was about to hand Larson money to buy new stuff, but there simply wasn’t time. Instead, Karlan called his brother, Kurt Larson, a retired Walnut Creek city employee, who lives nearby. “I said, ‘Can you bring some pots and pans down here right now,’ or else we would forfeit,” Karlan said. With cellphone in hand, Karlan asked Justine Kelly from Rooftop in Walnut Creek, the Walnut Creek team’s lead chef this day, what stuff she needed.

“She told me a variety of pans and types and sizes,” Karlan said. “I turned away and said, ‘Kurt, just bring anything you can.’ He didn’t have any professional cookware.”

Whatever Kurt brought worked well enough to help the Walnut Creek team win the 2017 cooking challenge, the ninth annual competition. And Carlston thanked the brothers publicly at the council meeting.

Kurt told the council audience, “I took down there these old pots and pans that I had, and brought home gourmet, prize-winning cookware. …. I didn’t want to tell (Justine Kelly), the only thing I’d ever heated up in those things was Spaghetti-O’s.”

Category: Cookware Pots  Tags: ,  Comments off
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.