Lodge National Cornbread Cook-Off Announces Contestants, Judges

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Hidemi Walsh from Centreville, Va. displays her winning recipe from the 2017 National Cornbread Cook-off. Her recipe was Chili Shrimp and Coconut Cornbread.
Hidemi Walsh from Centreville, Va. displays her winning recipe from the 2017 National Cornbread Cook-off. Her recipe was Chili Shrimp and Coconut Cornbread.

Lodge Cast Iron announces the 10 finalists for the 22nd Annual National Cornbread Cook-off. The cook-off features contestants from throughout the U.S. and "recipes that stretch the concept of southern cuisine."

The National Cornbread Cook-off is held in conjunction with the 22nd Annual National Cornbread Festival, to be held here April 28-29. The Cook-off requires participants to use a packet of Martha White Cornmeal and seasoned Lodge Cast Iron cookware to create recipes. 

“We are thrilled with the finalists for the Cornbread Cook-off,” said Lodge CEO Henry Lodge. “The recipes are outstanding. It’s obvious the contestants worked diligently to create recipes cornbread lovers throughout the country will enjoy.”

The Cook-Off champion receives a cast iron skillet crown, a $5,000 cash prize and a 30-inch stainless steel gas range (a $3,250 value) from FiveStar Professional Cooking Equipment, a division of Brown Stove Works, Inc. 

The second place competitor receives $1,500, and the third place competitor receives $1,000. The remaining seven finalists will collect $150. All finalists receive a $500 travel reimbursement.

To enhance audience appeal, the Cook-off features an Iron Chef format, with one continuous competition. The Cook-off begins at 10 a.m. CDT and concludes at 1:45 p.m. CDT. Additionally, the Cook-off stage is located on Third Street. Previously the Cook-off was on Second Street.

Judges for the Cook-off are well-respected food writers, chefs, cookbook authors and bloggers. 

Founded by Joseph Lodge in 1896, Lodge is the oldest continuously operating cast iron cookware foundry in the U.S. and the oldest family-owned cookware company in the country. Two descendants of Joseph Lodge serve on the company’s management team.

Finalists for the 22nd Annual National Cornbread Cook-Off:

Ann Jones, Brown’s Summit, NC: Bacon Jam Corn Cakes, Eggs Benedict, Spiced Fried Chicken and Honey Hollandaise

Carson Aaron, Quitman, Ar.: Double Decker Denver Omelet Cornbread Stack

Daljeet Singh, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.: Cornmeal Pitas with Spicy Chicken and Mustard Greens

Jackie Hardin, Knoxville: Tamale Cakes

Susan Rodgers, Round Rock, Tx.: BBQ Cornbread with Bacon Sriracha Slaw

Pamela Gelsomini, Wrentham, Ma.: Too ‘Gouda’ To Be True Cornbread Cakes Topped With Pancetta Laced Seafood Cream Sauce

Sharon Sorenson, Providence, Ut.: Crispy Crusted Caribbean Turkey Tomato Pie

Lidia Haddadian, Pasadena, Ca.: Cheesy Chorizo Tamale Pie w/ Cilantro-Lime Crema

Elaine Barbee, St. Charles, Mo.: The Hot Italian Skillet

Amy Fosset, Severn, Md.: Cajun Crab Corn Cakes with Pickled Okra Maque Choux

Judges for the National Cornbread Cook-Off:

Susan Reid, editor of King Arthur Flour’s magazine Sift, Norwich, Vt.

Chris Chamberlain, food writer for Nashville Scene, Nashville

Bob Carlton, feature writer for AL.com, Birmingham

Nancy Vienneau, food writer, Nashville

Becky Winkler, food writer/blogger, Chattanooga

Phillip Fryman, blogger, Nashville

Tamie Cook, chef/cookbook author, Atlanta

Cynthia Graubert, chef/cookbook author

Shannon Johnson, vice president of Food Service Innovation for Pilot Travel Centers, Knoxville

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