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First Prize Pies: from bake-off to business

We were only one bite into a slice of s'mores pie when the name of Allison Kave's burgeoning enterprise, First Prize Pies, made complete sense to us.

A pie this good--in which a rich milk chocolate filling is bracketed by a buttery graham-cracker crust and a canopy of toasted marshmallow fluff--would never take second place.

To wit, the name came from last year's Brooklyn Pie Bake-Off, where Kave won top honors for a ginger-bourbon-pecan creation.

Kave has culinary chops in her genes: Her mother, Rhonda Kave, is better known as the truffle sorceress behind Roni-Sue's Chocolates, while her brother Corwin is a chef at Fatty Crab.

The younger Kave bakes up concoctions like peanut-butter-chocolate pretzel and cheddar-apple in the convection ovens at her mother's shop in the Essex Street Market and sells them there on Saturdays. Kave will also sell her pies at the recently launched Hester Street Fair.

For those beyond the Lower East Side, First Prize Pies are available at the Sunday God Buns Market next door to Fatty 'Cue (or as dessert in the restaurant, accompanied by a pitcher of local cream); they can also be ordered online.

Eventually, Kave hopes to have her own production space and storefront "where all I do is bake and talk to customers."

Victory, in other words, couldn't be sweeter.

Roni Sue's Chocolates 120 Essex St. New York NY 10002 212-260-0421

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