Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cooking Contest Tips


I spent Labor Day in Florida with my mom and dad and my sister Shelley and her family.  Whenever we are together, the conversation naturally turns to food and recipes.  We come from a long line of foodies.  My great grandmother taught adult education cooking classes and my mom is a best selling cookbook author. 

My sister's girls, were very interested in the cooking contests at the Iowa State Fair.  One of the questions they asked me was, if all the recipes I judged for the contests tasted good.  I hate to say, the answer to that question is, NO!  Most of the dishes I tried were delicious, but there were a few that tasted terrible. 

Below are a few tips for entering a recipe contest:

1. Always taste what you are cooking.  This sounds like a no brainer, but I know some of the dishes I tried in the contests, had not been tasted before they brought it in to be judged. 

2. Make something unique or put an unusual twist on a classic dish.  This will make your recipe stand out from the crowd.

3. Read the contest rules and follow them exactly.  Your recipe can be disqualified if you do not follow the rules.

4. When you are writing your recipe, be sure to list all of the ingredients and amounts used.  Make the directions clear and easy to understand.

5. Garnish your dish.  We eat with our eyes first.  Put it on a pretty plate (check the contest rules) and garnish it with edible items to make it look special. 

Check out my blogging buddy, Bo's Blog (say that three times fast), Bo's Bowl.   Not only does he have great giveaways,  his recipes are incredible!  One visit to his blog and you will see why I faithfully follow it.
Also check out my friend Pam's blog, Pam's Midwest Kitchen Korner,  for more great recipes!  Once you read her blog, she will be your friend too!


  1. Wonderful advaice for posting recipe. I agree; you have to taste and taste it again. Happy Cooking!

  2. Linda, it sounds like you had a great time with your family! I wondered also if the entries all tasted good. Good advice with your tips! I could go for one of those truffles right now, they look beautiful and perfect for a fall treat!

  3. Thanks for the tips on State fair entries! Maybe if I'm feeling ambitious I'll do something next year.

  4. Those cookies remind me of years long ago when we lived in Chicago and went to the Long Grove Chocolate Factory - they made those too. To die for!


  5. These truffles look delicious!

  6. You are amazing! I can't wait to try these!

  7. You are so correct about eating through our eyes. I don't have the eye for plating but I try. You set a good example for us. Thanks.

  8. Thanks for the tips. As usual, you're always helpful!