Here’s a universal truth for you: all ice cream tastes good.

Not a revelation, but a fact that makes judging ice cream flavors pretty difficult. Chef Marc Collins and Pastry Chef Scott Lovorn of Circa 1886 amused themselves this summer with an ice cream contest, inviting people to submit a recipe that represented Charleston. I was one of three judges tasked with scoring the three finalists yesterday afternoon. It wasn’t as easy as you’d think.

[image-1] They were all good. One tasted  like a creamsicle, flavored with orange blossoms and honey. Another tasted like peach cobbler. But Seersucker, the winner (pictured far left with nut on top), reminded me of a sundae with chunks of Charleston Chews, bits of blueberry, and honey-roasted peanuts. I took one bite and forgot the oppressive heat of the scorching July afternoon.

The other judges at the table were Dean Stephens of Channel 4 and Marion Sullivan of the Post & Courier, Charleston Magazine, and Trident Tech. All three ice creams scored well, but Seersucker scored highest and its creator, Kevin Kelly, won dinner for four at Circa 1886.

[image-2] On a side note: I’d like to offer my judging services to anybody else out there thinking about holding a contest. You know,  something like the best cucumber cocktail, the tastiest housemade charcuterie, or the coldest fresh oyster. One thing I won’t do again? Hotdog judging. One miserably hot afternoon a couple years ago, I sat outside at the Maritime Center as ‘contestants’ slathered room temperature Ball Park wieners with all kinds of crap: barbecue sauce, horseradish, baked beans. Blech.