South Dakota Beef Cook-Off celebrates 35 years, final cook-off set for Aug. 30 | TSLN.com

South Dakota Beef Cook-Off celebrates 35 years, final cook-off set for Aug. 30

After 35 years, 2014 will be the final year for the annual South Dakota Beef Cook-Off event, which will be held on Aug. 30, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Huron, SD, as part of the South Dakota State Fair.

Hosted by the South Dakota CattleWomen (SDCW) through the Beef Checkoff Program, the 2014 South Dakota Beef Cook-Off is seeking contestants. This year's theme is the "Last Meal." The competition will challenge contestants to utilize an old cook-off recipe, deconstruct it and modernize it by changing the cut of beef, making it more convenient and economical and improving the nutritional value of the meal.

"We decided to deconstruct and update recipes from past cook-offs because it is the last year we will host the South Dakota Beef Cook-Off in this type of setting," said Kodi Blotsky, SDCW president. "We plan to do a small tribute to the contestants who competed and those who volunteered their time to the event over the years. Everyone who has been involved in the cook-off in the last 35 years has done so because of their love for beef and their desire to let everyone know how great beef is."

The cook-off will be split into three categories: Youth (ages 8-12), Teen (13-19) and Adult (20 and above). First place in each category will receive $300, and second place will receive $150. People's Choice will also be awarded in each category and will receive $50.

"The cook-off is a fun event to be a part of and to watch," said Blotsky. "It's a friendly competition that showcases culinary skills at various age levels. It's also educational, and attendees can get new recipes, learn new ways to prepare beef, and be inspired to try these new ideas at home."

In addition to the competition, the event will also feature the popular "Beef Basket Challenge," which puts two local "celebrities" against each other in a cooking competition, where the well-known individuals have to create a beef meal from a mystery basket of ingredients.

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"The crowd will be able to watch and interact with the cooks by asking questions," explained Blotsky. "This is always a crowd pleaser as the audience is the judge in determining who the winner is by sampling the meals they come up with."

In the future, SDCW hopes to continue to share recipes with consumers, but through different venues, such as Facebook and Pinterest. While looking to the future, they are also reflecting on the last 35 years of the South Dakota Beef Cook-Off.

"For me, some of the best highlights of the cook-off were the years we hosted the National Beef Cook-Off in 1981 in Sioux Falls and in 2005 in Rapid City," said Karla Pazour, SDCW member, past cook-off chairman, and cook-off contestant. "In 2004, Kathy Anderson from Chamberlain made it into the National Beef Cook-Off Finals in Dallas, TX, which was also exciting for South Dakota. It has also been fun to see how recipes and cooking trends have changed over the years as consumer demands have changed."

To enter the 2014 South Dakota Beef Cook-Off, contact Blotsky at SDCattleWomen@hotmail.com with your name, address, phone number and age. The deadline to enter is August 8.

–S.D. CattleWomen

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