A winning combination

Curtis Crosby takes first in Red Robin burger cook-off

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Curtis Crosby

Curtis Crosby has two great loves: Cooking and fajitas.

So, it was no surprise that the 12-year-old Washougal resident decided to combine his two favorites into a winning combination: A fajita burger, which took first place at the Washington Square Mall Red Robin Kids Burger Cook-Off contest.

Crosby, a seventh-grader at Jemtegaard Middle School, began cooking at the age of 4.

“I helped my mom make cookies, and it just kind of felt right,” he said. “So I started helping her out more. Then I really got into it.”

He was out to dinner with his family, which includes mom, Laurie; dad, Jeff; and two brothers at Red Robin when he noticed the contest flyer.

Crosby thought up the recipe on the drive home, and proceeded to create a burger with Havarti cheese in the middle, combined with the usual fajita ingredients and mixed with a sauce. Then, his dad cooked it on the grill, and deemed it a success.

Apparently the taste testers at Red Robin agreed, and awarded him first in the local restaurant contest. Crosby is now entered into a cookbook contest, where the top 50 will have the chance to attend a cook-off in Colorado. He’ll find out if he is one of the winners in late November or early December.

“I’m pretty excited,” he said. “It’s pretty cool.”

Crosby is currently in the process of creating his own cookbook, which he plans to give to relatives as Christmas gifts. His favorite recipe so far is called, “American Awesome,” which he describes as a healthy smoothie.

His favorite part about cooking is spending time with his family.

“My little brother likes to cook, my dad cooks breakfast sometimes, and my mom is always cooking,” Crosby said. “It’s something we enjoy. It’s fun when we all cook breakfast together.”