Cattleman’s Beef Cook-Off

Trish Turner

Messenger Staff

On Saturday July 21, the Meade County Cattleman’s Beef Cook Off was held on the fairgrounds from 2:00 until 5:30 p.m. Teams set up their grilling stations under the trees across from the arena. This area offered the contestants some shade on one of the hottest days of the summer. Each team consisted of two to four participants with a designated grill master. The cooks had to be at least 16 years of age unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The Meade County Cattleman’s Association distributed two 8-ounce ribeye steaks to each team at 2:00 p.m. and went over the rules of the contest. Each team was to cook their steaks to a minimum of 145 degrees, or medium rare. They could use any seasonings, juices, or rubs on the steaks. A grilled vegetable side dish was required; and a grilled dessert was optional. They were also given the option to create a dish using ground beef. The method of cooking could be on charcoal, gas, or wood pellet grills.

I visited each team while they were grilling, and they were all cooperative in providing information on what they were cooking and to have their pictures taken. Lindsey and Garrett Frank were grilling burgers and making loaded potato skins and grilled fruit pizza. Lindsey had some pretty awesome vegetable garnishes she was carving to accent their dishes with.

Patrick Seymour and Kaylin Benham were making Juicy Lucy Wellington hamburger patties, Poblano peppers stuffed with a mixture of shrimp, green chilies, quinoa and cream cheese, plus a banana pudding dessert. The burgers were to be similar to a beef Wellington dish with lots of cheese and covered with pastry.

Mary Brooke Stith and Andrew Stith were making shrimp macaroni and cheese and pineapple upside down cake. Next to their station was the team of Laura Stith and Ann Denner who were making a low country boil and a blooming apple.

Niko and Giazzi Segarra prepared garlic parmesan asparagus, potato bacon ranch chips, and French toast S’mores. This team playfully posed for me like they were contestants on a Food Network chef competition.

The largest team was the “Ol Tasty Gang” with Joe Humphrey, Travis Beck, Stu Smith, and Kyle Fackler. They were cooking bacon wrapped asparagus, grilled stuffed mushrooms, and smoked and grilled peach cobbler. Next to them was a team called “AMR Smithin’” that included Nathan Rich, Andrew Rich, and Anthony Rich. They were fixing savory sweet potato fries and Boy Scout fried apple pies. They told me that they all had learned how to make those pies when they were Boy Scouts years ago.

The team with the youngest contestants was Lane and Landon Shartzer. They were preparing deep fried mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, campfire S’more biscuits, stuffed smoked mushrooms, and a banana split turnover. The parents of these young men were their support team. Prizes for this contest were $200 for the best ribeye, $100 for the best side, and $100 for the best grilled dessert. The judges for the best burgers were Mark Burnett, Wilma Cornett and Jeanna Turner. For the best steaks, sides and desserts the judges were Brian Haag, Chuck Crutcher and Harold Goff. Garrett and Lindsey Frank won first place for the best ribeye. Lane Shartzer won first place for the best burger and best grilled dessert. Landon Shartzer won first place for the best side and was runner up for the best ribeye.

I enjoyed spending time with all the amazing grill masters who competed in this contest. They did a fantastic job and had fun with their creations. I really would have liked to have stuck around to see the judging results and maybe even get some samples (everything smelled SO good!), but the heat got to me. I am thankful that Jennifer Bridge sent me the results and some pictures. Congratulations to all the teams!

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