Mark Turgeon was 14 years old when he first started working at the Baskin-Robbins in Topeka, Kan. He remembers earning somewhere around $1.85 an hour and was so small that serving ice cream over the sneeze guard required standing on his tippy-toes. Obviously, Turgeon has since moved onto a more lucrative profession. But he retained the talents learned inside that particular parlor, which somewhat informs what transpired Friday afternoon along M Street in Georgetown.
It took Turgeon an hour to drive from College Park to the Good Stuff Eatery, owned by former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn, so by the time he ducked inside and walked upstairs, his two competitors had already advanced scouted the peppermint bark, multicolored sprinkles and marshmallows destined to be heated by blow torch.
George Mason Coach Paul Hewitt, George Washington Coach Mike Lonergan and Turgeon all came to participate in the BB&T Classic milkshake contest against each other. The winner’s creation would be sold downstairs at the counter for the next month, with partial proceeds donated to children’s charities. The losers would presumably return to their regular lives, unable to — ahem — shake the immense disappointment.
Turns out, Turgeon’s wife Ann offered up the idea for his creation, appropriately named the Turtle Shake*. It would have caramel, chocolate chips, cookies and red sprinkles, Maryland-themed, of course, and all that milkshake-making experience of his formative years probably gave him the mixology edge. Of course, having a stacked judges panel — among them former Washington Redskins player and Maryland graduate Stephon Heyer and BB&T Bank’s Brian Meenaghan, who chairs the alumni board at the Maryland business school — might have helped, too.
Lonergan, whose 7-1 Colonials face Maryland on Sunday at Verizon Center, whipped up a strawberry, cookies and cream milkshake. Hewitt, who faces Oklahoma in the doubleheader’s early game, went with mint chocolate chip, malt, green good dye and tried to write “GMU” in butterscotch.
“It looks like GW,” Lonergan said.
Turgeon stood in the back while the four judges tasted each creations. He did the“Turge Surge” when former Redskin Derrick Dockery said he liked the cookies. Lonergan delivered the afternoon’s best one-liner — “I fear the turtle will mess up your taste buds” — but later lamented his obvious deficiencies in dessert chemistry. Turgeon, meanwhile, was confident and the judges’ decision was ultimately unanimous. A sample, obtained by the Washington Post via an open-beverage request, confirmed the ruling. It was good.
*This name fit nicely, but Turgeon really missed several opportunities for Maryland-themed pun names. Among them:
>>Peppermint Bark Turgeon
>>Lefty Drizzle of Fudge
>>Nik Candy Caner-Medley
>>Varun Rum Raisin
>>Roddy Rocky Road
>>Cake (or Shake) Layman
>>Jon Graham Cracker Hot Fudge Sundae