I had the opportunity and pleasure to coordinate this years indoor cooking contests and schedule cooking demonstrations for the Fair goers.
My process started back in May, in which I worked with my ever talented, and the most patient person I’ve ever had the honor of working with, The Activities Director- Katie Williams. I mean, she had lots of people to oversee! We worked on new contests and she set up media sponsors and rules for the contests, and we collaborated on new ideas. That part is so fun to me , always. the creative process.
As the time got closer to Opening Day, I handpicked judges for our contests, reached out to get entries for a few of our contests, organized schedules, and even did a media spot on Good Things Utah to promote the demonstrations.
Opening night was an eye Opener, let me tell ya- It was a rush and mush of setting up tables, chairs, cleaning, signage, registration, entry numbers, people, people, people. But I made it work, and I met the Governor, missed my photo op with him and the First Lady (what?! Muyly miss a photo op?! I know, I know. )
So here are a few fun pictures of the kitchens and winners of the Cooking Contests and Cooking Demonstrations! A complete list of winners and winning recipes will be posted shortly at UtahStateFair.com.
I would like to thank the following Contest Sponsors:
Whole Foods Market- South Valley (114 So and State)
Smiths Food and Drug
C&H Sugar Company
King Arthur Flour
Our Local Honey Farmers
ABC 4 for being our media sponsor and emceeing and judging
Rachel Green- Realtor and Home Cook
Scott Querry- Owner of Solstice Chocolate
Michelle De La Cerda- The Complete Savorist, blog
Heather King- Owner of SLC Lunches, Food Writer for Devour Utah
Valerie Phillips- Writer for The Utah Examiner. author of Soups On!
Dorothy Biesecker Wilhelmsen- Home cook and Owner of Are you Locked out?
Corrine Miller- Home cook and professional food stylist
Bakin Bill Johnson- Cooking Demonstrator and active member of the IDOS
Peter Somers- Owner of The Honey Spot
Lydia Martinez- Store Marketing Specialist for Whole Foods Market, Food Writer, The Suitcase Foodist
Dave Russell- Field Technician for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Rachel Farnsworth- The Stay at Home Chef, blogger, author and recipe curator
Russ Oliver- Owner of Granite Bakery and Bridal
Spencer Woodward- Homecook and owner of Woodward Technologies
It was a neat experience to be part of this Utah tradition. I learned so much from the ‘regulars’ who competed year after year, I learned that some of my innovative ideas didn’t sit to well with them either, haha. I really wanted this to be a highlight of what is a, in my opinion, a Food-centric city. Salt Lake has adapted and grown to new tastes of cuisines, creativity of dishes and ingredients and a home grown love for cooking has returned to our heart of hearts. We’ve gone back to the traditions but are experimenting and making things new and fun, and really giving our next generation a great foundation of appreciation for food and cooking.
I would love to try this again next year, but I would love to put a bigger spin on things. Sometimes, though, my ideas get too creative for things like this, so who know if it happens next year. I loved meeting all the people and seeing all the great talent out there, though! I would love to hear your thoughts on this years State Fair!
In the Press: