Creative cooks have a chance to win a lot of money at this year’s Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, which runs from Aug. 7 to Aug. 17, so whip out the pots and pans and get cooking.
Contest coordinator Cyndi Harles, with Agnew Inc., said more than 300,000 people attend the Missouri State Fair each year and about 75 to 100 enter the baking contests, so more participation is always encouraged.
Nancy Richmond, superintendent of home economics at the fair, said participants are just everyday people who like to cook.
“They’re not professional chefs. They have other lives,” she said.
Richmond said contestants use many different techniques to develop the perfect dish.
“Some people take the food to work in order to get feedback from their coworkers,” she said.
While some contestants use tried-and-true family recipes, others flip through cookbooks and substitute ingredients to make new recipes, Richmond said.
Lori Howell won second place last year for her salad with cold rice. “I’ve entered these contests for the past three or four years,” she said. “But last year was the first year I had the nerve to show up.”
She said she was intimidated at first.
“When I showed up, I was expecting chefs with fancy hats on,” she said. However, she quickly realized that the “chefs” were really just regular people like herself.
“I walked in and had no idea what to do, but everyone was so helpful,” she said.
This year, Howell plans to enter all of the contests with her daughters.
For details and complete contest guidelines, call the Missouri State Fair entry department at (660) 530-5605 or visit www.mostatefair.com