State Fair Beef Cook-Off entries due Aug. 1

South Dakota is known for its good cooks and great beef—and the 2012 South Dakota State Fair Beef Cook-Off is the opportunity to put a spotlight on the state's accomplished home cooks and great-tasting, nutritious beef in a friendly, fun annual event.

"If you're one of our state's good amateur cooks armed with a great beef recipe, it's time to enter the State Fair Beef Cook-Off," says Karla Pazour, chair of the event.  "We'd love anyone who enjoys cooking to participate," says Pazour. "The State Fair is a true South Dakota affair with competition in everything from horticulture to livestock breeds."  The Beef Cook-Off is one more friendly competition featuring grills, skillets and beef.

Entries and recipes are due Aug. 1 for the State Fair Beef Cook-Off to be held Saturday, Sept. 1 at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.  The contest is open to non-professional South Dakota residents in either the youth division (10-18 years) or adult division (19 and older).  Beef recipes submitted must feature a main meal entrée appropriate for entertaining or special occasion meals.  Judging is based on taste, appearance, originality, nutrition and ease of preparation.  The winner of the youth division will receive a $250 cash prize, while the adult division winner will take home $500 in cash.  Thanks to the Beef Check-off dollar, there will be $1,500 in cash prizes awarded. 

Pazour said, "Many people have fond memories of their favorite meals on vacation or at trend-setting restaurants."  This year's cooking theme "DESTINATION: DINNER" challenges the cook to replicate recipes that are representative of specific locations—think Bourbon Street Steak, Lone Star Salad, Beef Burgundy, Korean-Style Ribs, explains Pazour.  Beef's versatility makes it a natural for various ethnic creations.  She says, "Sometimes you can escape from life's ordinary by simply creating an extraordinary beef meal."

Individuals selected to compete will actually prepare their beef entrée in a public area during the Beef Cook-Off, allowing participants to interact with state fair attendees.  Judges are kept in a secluded location and recipes are judged completely on the finished product, not on cooking procedures.

Hosted by the South Dakota CattleWomen and funded by the SD Beef Industry Council through the Beef Check-off, the State Fair Beef Cook-Off is an excellent way, says Pazour, to educate consumers on the 29 lean cuts of beef along with beef's versatility, ease of preparation and excellent taste.  For more information and to print an entry form for the State Fair Beef Cook-Off, go to www.sdbeef.org or www.sdstatefair.com.  Entry forms and recipes must be submitted by August 1 on the www.sdbeef.org website or to Karla Pazour, SD Beef Cook-Off, 25725 350th Ave., Pukwana, SD 57370.  Finalists will be selected and notified by August 17.  Any additional questions about the contest can be directed to Pazour at (605) 894-4490. 

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