Peach cookoff entries due by June 19

Published 3:53 pm Friday, June 1, 2012

Chilton County peaches take on many different forms and flavors during the annual Peach Festival Cook-Off Contest.

From cobblers to cheesecakes and salsa to—believe it or not—sushi, the staple fruit ties all the entered dishes together and reminds participants and visitors why they come to what is perhaps the Chilton County Extension System’s best-known summer event.

“It’s like watching a Food Network show right here, close to home,” said Gay West, county extension coordinator. “It promotes the peach industry, and that’s why we do it.”

West said she has organized the cook-off as an adjunct to the Peach Festival for about 20 years.

The contest includes presentation, judging, awards and sampling of the dishes.

During the judging portion, Debra Florea of Clanton will present a food demonstration on how to make cake pops.

“I love the food presentations, the demonstrations,” West said. “I like to see all the hard work people put in to garnish their dishes and make them look beautiful. I’m always amazed every year.”

The first, second and third place winners of the adult (age 20 and above) and youth (ages 9–19) divisions will receive cash prizes and ribbons.

“Anybody can attend,” West said. “We love to have visitors come and attend, sample the dishes and be involved. We just need people to enter.”

Recipe books are free and will be available at the cook-off.

Also, West said participants are encouraged to stand by their dishes and serve samples to guests as they walk by this year.

“We’re trying to figure out how to recognize those that do enter,” she said.

The guidelines for participating in the contest are as follows:

•Any dish entered in the contest must contain fresh Chilton County peaches.

•One entry per person will be accepted.

•The recipe need not be original. Judging will be based on using fresh, quality peaches (10 points); appearance (20 points); taste (50 points); and creativity (20 points). Dishes can be displayed in participants’ container of choice.

•Dish must be registered and on the table ready for judging at 10 a.m.

•Participants must be present to win.

•Pre-registration is required. Complete registration forms are due to the Chilton County Extension Office by 4 p.m. June 19. No late entries will be accepted. Mail registration forms to P.O. Box 30, Clanton, AL 35046 or fax to (205) 280-6357.

•Recipes using raw eggs will be disqualified (such as in ice cream custards). If a recipe calls for raw eggs, cooked custard can be made, or pasteurized egg products may be substituted.

•Dish entered in the contest must be made available for participants and attendees to taste at the conclusion of the event.

•Participants are invited to serve samples of their dishes to guests during the sampling portion of the program.

The 2012 Peach Festival Cook-Off Contest will begin at 10 a.m. on June 23 at Thorsby First Baptist Church.

For more information or to reserve seating, call (205) 280-6268.