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Feb 13, 2013 03:26 PM

Cooking contest

I'm just curious if any of you have ever entered a cooking contest. What was the contest? What did you prepare? How was your experience? How did you prepare for the contest itself?

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  1. OMG!!! If you're thinking about entering one, more plaudits to you!! I've never done one nor have I ever had the confidence to give it a shot. I would think, for preparation, you would decide what you were going to serve, and make it at home again and again until it became like breathing, but that's just me. Good luck if you decide to enter!!

    1. My sister and I would enter them as young girls. Usually a baked good or a jarred item. Whenever we won a money prize we'd pool our winnings and take a trip together. We've won for cornbread, muffins, black raspberry jam, ketchup, fruits of the forest pie and a garlic spread that was our Great Grandmother's secret weapon.

      3 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        I am very intrigued by this garlic spread. Is it still a secret weapon, or would you share the recipe? (I totally respect secret recipes - no pressure.)

        1. re: NonnieMuss

          NonnieM, any chance you are familiar with toum garlic paste?

          one example:

          Well, our dear Gran would add just a slight hint of white onion mash and an egg white and whip like nobodys business until the thickness was set. Once chilled the most delicious paste was created. During our contest submission days this garlic paste was unheard of by the judges and the WOW factor was enough to stand out.

          Which brings me to the most valuable lesson in any food/cooking contest-know the bios of your judges and what their food exposure is. Surprise elements are helpful in winning.

          1. re: HillJ

            100% right on the judge thing Hill. I've been in a number of chili cook-offs where the judges were chosen for things like community standing etc. I was in one at a county fair where they chose a barber shop quartet and some attractive young ladies who were handing out suntan lotion samples at the fair because, said the fair officials "That's all we could find"

      2. Only once. A soup contest to raise money for a local soup kitchen. My personal goal was two-fold: make a winning soup, win third prize. Didn't want the baseball tickets for 1st prize, and I forget what 2nd was. I just wanted the ribbon, which I got with a multi-bean soup.

        Everyone was making dairy rich, seafood-heavy concoctions. I went in the other direction with a light broth,
        beans, and carefully diced veggies.