The Benefits of Entering Recipe Contests, Cookoffs, and Culinary Competitions:
If you’re an avid home cook who loves to work with interesting ingredients and create new recipes, you might want to consider entering one or more of your recipes in one of the thousands of cooking contests held all over America each year (many without entry fees).
As someone who from has entered several recipe contests (including The Taste of the South Recipe Competiton, The Tillamook Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Contest, and The Redwood Creek Campfire Classic Recipe Contest and Outdoor Cookoff, and The National Chicken Cooking Contest), I’ve found that entering food contests can be a great way to find out about and explore new ingredients as well as to encourage further inventiveness in the kitchen.
Best of all, if your recipe makes it to the finals or semifinals of a recipe competition and/or contest cookoff, it can be a wonderful opportunity to meet other inspiring cooks and home chefs. Depending on which contest you enter, if you’re fortunate enough to win, you might even return home with a substantial amount of money or prizes to help fuel your future culinary endeavors.
To give you some idea of the range of the kind of recipes that may be entered into contests (from easy to complex), here’s four recipes of mine that have been entered in various cooking and recipe competitons over the years:
Three great places to find out more information (as well as rules, deadlines, and judging criteria) for a wide variety of culinary contests are these three pages on FoodReference.Com, Contest Cook, and Cooking Contest Central.
If you’re curious what it’s like to compete in person as a finalist in some of the most popular food contests in the country, you might want to look for a copy of Cookoff: Recipe Fever in America by Amy Sutherland in your local bookstore or public library.
Million Dollar Winning Contest Recipes from the Pillsbury Bake-Off
When it come to cooking contests, winning the Grand Prize in the Pillsbury Bake-Off is widely considered by many recipe contesters to be the holy grail of the recipe contest experience. Since 1996, Pillsbury’s top prize has been raised to $1,000,000, and every two years 100 finalists compete in person to take home the dough. (Sorry for the pun!)
The first recipe to win Pillsbury’s Grand Prize (which was presented by former First lady, Eleanor Roosevelt) was by Theodora Smafield of Rockford, Illinois in 1949 for her No-Knead Water-Rising Twists Recipe. At the time, the grand prize was a hefty $50,000 (roughly $450,000 in 2008 U.S. dollars according to Measuring Worth.Com).
Alas, the deadline for the recent 44th Annual Pillsbury Bake Off has just passed, but on Thursday, May 14th, you can still participate and help Pillsbury choose some of the competition finalists by casting your vote for your favorite contest recipes.
Whether you’re thinking of entering the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off, looking for a delicious winning recipe to try, or you’re curious about what kinds of recipes have won their million dollar prize, below are all the $1,000,000 winning Pillsbury Bake Off recipes listed in reverse date order…enjoy!
2008 Million Dollar Grand Prize Pillsbury Bakeoff Winner:
2006 Million Dollar Grand Prize Pillsbury Bakeoff Winner:
2004 Million Dollar Grand Prize Pillsbury Bakeoff Winner:
2002 Million Dollar Grand Prize Pillsbury Bakeoff Winner:
2000 Million Dollar Grand Prize Pillsbury Bakeoff Winner:
1998 Million Dollar Grand Prize Pillsbury Bakeoff Winner:
1996 Million Dollar Grand Prize Pillsbury Bakeoff Winner:
(Photo Credits: Grand prize winning Pillsbury recipe photos courtesy of Pillsbury.Com.)
Please join us tomorrow to read our newest recipe on HuggingtheCoast.Com, Mexican Guacamole Onion Soup With Cheesy Tostadas Recipe.
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