Cooking Contest Judges

With so many amazing creations, it takes a whole panel of judges to taste and evaluate the culinary inventions.  Grand Prize winner of the contest is granted a tour of the Durkee Mower Marshmallow Fluff Factory.  Tops in each of the categories receives a one-of-a-kind trophy and a bag of awesome prizes.  After the contest judging is complete, visit the Fluff Fest Bake Sale to take home your taste!

Heading Up the 2014 What the Fluff?  Cooking Contest Judges:

Mari Levine is a Senior Editor at America’s Test Kitchen Online Cooking School, the food blogger for (Did you know Fluff is kosher?!) and an occasional contributor to Serious Eats. Until now, she’s only eaten Fluff recreationally, but has spent her entire life training for her foray into professional judging.


Kate Shannon is a former line cook and cheesemonger and a current member of the tastings and testings team at America’s Test Kitchen, where a typical day might find her sampling cheddar blindfolded and eating five types of cake all before 10am. Though she grew up in a Fluff-less household, she often traded lunches with a middle school classmate who always brought Fluffernutter sandwiches on a hamburger bun.

NASA astronaut Sunita Williams calls Needham, MA home so she’s grown up on the deliciousness of Fluff.  She’s now spreading that love across the globe, serving up Fluffernutters in the International Space Station.  Who knows, will beings from outer space stop by, intrigued by this exotic Marshmallow Fluff.


Scott Malone, a journalist for Reuters, is the Boston-based editor in charge for general news overseeing the northeastern United States, where he covers everything from politics to storms to the weird and wonderful of New England. Scott has interviewed newsmakers ranging from Macky Sall, the president of Senegal, to chart-topping rockers Aerosmith.


Monica Ng has dominated the Fluff Festival Cooking Contest for years now, wiping out dozens of competitors to take home the Grand Prize trophy for her original recipes.  The only way to stop her reign was to pull her to the other side of the table and to put her exemplary palette into service.  She knows  quality food so whip up something extraordinary !
brandy cookingBrandy Brooks is a resident of Union Square and long time friend of Union Square Main Streets.  She’s twice been crowned Queen of Somerville at the Somerville Local First prom.  An activist in the field of community food systems, she spends much of her time advocating for nutritious food and fitness. But that doesn’t mean she’s lost her sweet tooth. She leaps with the joy of Fluff ,when taken in moderation.

USMS Hires Esther Hanig as Executive Director

Union Square Main Streets is proud to announce Esther Hanig as its new Executive Director, following an extensive search and interview process. Esther brings a broad array of experience and skills to the position of Executive Director, most recently from her position as Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. Esther will begin her new position at Union Square Main Streets on February 23rd, 2015.

Esther HanigEsther has experience at multiple organizations building broad coalitions to work together effectively toward common goals; establishing strong and trusting relationships with public officials and governmental department staff; developing and enhancing organizations’ fiscal and membership bases; creating and implementing complex events; marketing organizations and businesses and responding effectively to change and challenges. In addition, through her work as a member of the Central Square Advisory Committee in Cambridge, Esther has developed knowledge and insight about what it takes to create and maintain a vibrant and thriving urban center in today’s changing world.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am very pleased to welcome Esther to Union Square Main Streets. We feel very fortunate that she is joining us.” said Board Chair Eric Fellinger. “Esther has a proven ability to build successful coalitions and partnerships, as well as to optimize an organization’s performance around its mission. We had a number of excellent candidates for the ED position, and Esther rose to the top due to her demonstrated ability to manage and grow organizations, and bring diverse stakeholders together around common goals. And she is eager to engage with the Union Square community to face the changes and challenges that lie ahead.”

As Executive Director of Union Square Main Streets, Esther will oversee continued advocacy and promotion of the Union Square business district and neighborhood. She will also lead the organization in its efforts to build on its mission to improve the vibrancy of Union Square by advocating for local businesses, and for positive change; promoting dialogue among business owners, landlords, residents, and other stakeholders; and acting as a bridge between stakeholders and City government.

Union Square Main Streets has been central to the recognition, identity, and “buzz” that Union Square has developed over the past 10 years. The organization hosts events that engage tens of thousands of people, including the annual “What the Fluff?” Festival and the Saturday Farmers Market; provides on-the-ground assistance for local businesses; and promotes the Union Square district and its businesses through social media and press awareness.

“I am very excited about this opportunity to work collectively with residents, businesses, the city and neighborhood institutions, and other nonprofits” said Esther, “to ensure a strong Union Square that preserves the best of the character of the Square while taking advantage of all the current opportunities to forge a vibrant future.”

A longtime resident of Area Four, Cambridge, Esther has been very active in her community, and also feels very connected to Somerville and the Union Square community. “I have many close friends in Somerville” says Esther, “and I’m looking forward to extending my ties here.”


Esther brings a broad array of experience and skills to Union Square Main Streets. In her nine years at Project Bread-the Walk for Hunger, Esther worked successfully to build broad coalitions to work together effectively toward common goals and established strong and trusting relationships with public officials and governmental department staff. She continued to work with coalitions in her role as Executive Director at the Allston-Brighton Healthy Boston Coalition and honed her organizational development skills. Esther’s work at the Leventhal-Sidman JCC, as Assistant Executive Director and Center Director, provided her with the opportunity to build on her experience creating and implementing complex events and to develop her business and marketing skills. She worked to ensure that the LSJCC fitness center responded effectively to market challenges to ensure a strong membership and sound fiscal foundation. At the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, Esther built on her experience creating and working with close partners, raising funds through grants and corporate sponsorships, and recruiting and retaining MNN members. Esther has also used her skills and experience to lead strategic planning efforts, create an annual event, and secure corporate sponsorships in her capacity as a board member formerly of Tutoring Plus and currently of the Cambridge YWCA.

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