Friday, May 29, 2009

BEK Country Cook Off in Wilton

The big day arrived and my crew and I headed down to the site. First we ate the grilled food at the charity feed. The food was a hot dog or brat, chips and pop. The charity was the Wilton fire department. Let me say a few words about the Wilton fire department. The Wilton fire department consists entirely of volunteer fire fighters. These brave people volunteer to risk their life and health and donate their time to keep me and the surrounding rural area safe and we all appreciate it. I appreciate it so much more after the scary wildfire on the plains a few years ago. There was a combination of high winds and dry grass land after a summer with high temperatures and little rain. A wood fire that had been extinguished one full month earlier reignited due to the strong winds. The fire covered an area one mile by six miles. While the Wilton fire department was fighting the fire, the winds suddenly changed and the fire was now headed right for the fire fighters. Three were injured, one quite severely. Knowing this, people still volunteer for the job. I want to thank them.
It was now time for the big event. "Ooooh! This is so exciting." Said my Mom's friend Karen. I was thinking the same thing. I glanced over at my Aunt Gayle. She's originally from Wilton, but has lived most of her life in California. I could see that exciting wasn't necessarily the adjective she would choose, but she was still into the spirit of things. The people at BEK told us to watch the camera man to know when to clap during comical breaks, and to clap loud. The people at my table clapped our hearts out for all the commercial breaks. We also too turns Wooooo!-ing. I woooo-ed more in that hour then I have for years. When I came home and rewatched the event on T.V. I was dismayed to find that not one of our Wooo!s was audible. I could have saved my energy and just clapped. Oh well.
I was there to root on my neighbor Sue Lofthus who was competing with a recipe that was inspired by my grilled pork loin recipe. She added and changed so many things from my recipe that her pork loin makes mine pale in comparison. They began interviewing people about what they were cooking. My initial over confidence in Sue's recipe faded. The competition was clearly strong. Chicken with mango salsa, steak and cedar plank fish, steak Oscar with walleye replacing the crab, and Sue's stuffed pork loin. It would be a tough competition. All the contestants did a great job throughout the evening speaking on camera. That's not easy for an amateur cook to grill with a time limit and give entertaining interviews. Sue, who is one of the nicest people you could ever meet, looked radiant on camera. She was also gracious enough to mention me by name on camera. Thanks Sue. Cameron, who was a year behind me in High School, described his former job as sue chef at The Old Broadway in Fargo. He said it was jungle cooking for 400 people per night. Michelle was cooking with her step son even though the both like to be in charge on the grill. And Tom kept the ingredients of his secret marinade a secret.
The host went into the audience to interview people. As he approached Don W. I thought "watch out". Don's entertaining, but he's trouble. Then they interviewed the judges. One was Deb Strand, who's kids I
used to babysit. All the judges talked about how nice it was to see so
many colorful fruits and vegetables. Now it's time for a commercial break. Here's a commercial that ran during the show that cracks me up.

Attention Hunters! Are you tired of stores where every gun is locked
away and you have to wait for a clerk to find a key? Stop in and
check out our great selection of rifles, scopes, shot guns, hand guns,
binoculars, and hunting knives. Located one block east of the court

As the time clicked down, I got very nervous. "Hurry up Sue and get the food on the plate. You're not gunna make it." She knew what she was was doing and got the food plated in time. The pictures below are after the jugdes were done with them.

Michelle Pich's Entry
Steak. Grilled cedar plank walleye with watermelon and black bean
salsa. Grilled vegetable kebabs. Grilled garlic bread with roasted
garlic. Grilled corn. And Grilled cream cheese stuffed jalapeno

Sue Lofthus's Entry
Grilled stuffed pork loin. Grilled fresh pineapple with lime zest and
honey. A home made bread stick that was then grilled. And grilled mixed
vegetables consisting of three colors of peppers, asparagus,mushrooms,
potatoes, and onions.

Cameron Boechler's Entry
Steak Oscar (steak with Bearnaise sauce) with local walleye replacing the traditional crab. Candied pineapple. And grilled peppers, onions, and asparagus.

Tom Gigante's Entry
Chicken marinated in a secret balsamic marinade with mango salsa
(mango, jalapenos, tomatoes, onions, and garden garlic chives) and
asparagus bundles.

And the judging...Cameron's Steak Oscar wins. My friend Sue tied for second place.
This next comment means no disrespect to Cameron. He is clearly and excellent cook and achieved a well deserved win. The judges are just like the rest of us. They spoke repeatedly about he health and nutrition of the fruits and veggies on the grill. But when push came to shove, they (like us) pick the red meat topped with a butter and egg yolk sauce. It's truly a hard to beat combination.

1 comment:

Beth said...

What a fun post! I had no idea there was a cook off in Wilton recently. Lots of grilled pineapple, yum. I was at a cook-off competition/fundraiser last fall and the red meat entry won hands down. Hard to beat.