Thursday, August 13, 2009

Where's the beef? (cooking contest, that is)

One of my favorite things at the Mountain State Fair is the cooking competitions. I don’t know if it’s because of the creative cooks we have in western NC that whip up some unbelievable dishes or if it’s just because I like to eat so much. But one contest to keep your eye on this year is the NC Cattleman’s Beef Council Recipe Contest.

I’m excited about it for a couple of reasons. One, it’s new to the fair this year. All the usual suspects are back including Spam and North Carolina pork, blueberries, pecans, apples, and eggs, but this is the first time we’ve had beef (at least that I’m aware of). Two, although I enjoy a nice juicy steak, I rarely get to eat beef, mostly because my wife doesn’t eat red meat. So I’m excited to see what sizzling dishes our participants create, especially since I know how good our cooks are in the mountains and I’ve seen and tasted their creativity myself. So who knows what we’ll see. The contest is open to any kind of beef in any kind of dish, as long as its “quick and easy” and the main ingredient is beef.

And here’s a tip for anyone interested in entering the beef recipe contest, or any recipe contest for that matter...check out to see if there is a farmer near you who grows or raises the ingredients you need. Good luck to everyone who decides to participate. My mouth is watering already! Casey Allen, Media Specialist

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