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

Ooltewah Farmers Market Holds 4th Annual Melon Fest

Ooltewah Farmers Market will hold the fourth annual Melon Fest on Thursday, Aug. 14, from 3-6 p.m. The market, now in its sixth season, hosts this annual event celebrating locally-grown melons and watermelons of all shapes and kinds. Several area small family farms have been growing melons specifically for this event. Look for old heirloom varieties, rare and ... (click for more)

McDonald’s And Franchisees Investing Approximately $168 Million In Tennessee To Modernize More Than 240 Local Restaurants

Today, McDonald’s announced that the company and its franchisees are investing approximately $168 Million in Tennessee throughout 2018 and 2019 on the construction and modernization of 240 McDonald’s restaurants, transforming the customer experience inside and outside the restaurant. In total, McDonald’s and franchisees are investing $6 billion to modernize most U.S. restaurants ... (click for more)

Authorities Say Hixson Man Shot And Killed His 15-Year-Old Son On Saturday Night; Also Killed Family Dog

Authorities said a Hixson man shot and killed his 15-year-old son on Saturday night. A report says Mike McElrath, 46, a former Hamilton County jailer, who was found naked at a neighbor's house, also killed the family dog. County deputies responded at 10:24 p.m. to 1846 Cotter Road. The residents said there was a man on their front porch who said he was "butt naked" and said ... (click for more)

Gary Douglas, 25, Shot Early Sunday Morning; Dewayne Stanley, 24, Is Arrested

Gary Douglas, 25, was shot early Sunday morning, and Dewayne Stanley, 24, was arrested.   The Chattanooga Police Department responded at approximately  3 a.m.   to a person shot on the 4700 block of Murray Lake Lane. Upon arrival, officers were able to locate Douglas, who was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound.   Investigators ... (click for more)

Harold Austin Was Hamilton County's Crown Jewel

My dear friend, longtime public servant, Mr. Harold Austin, will be greatly missed. He was with the state of Tennessee and Hamilton County for many years. Doyle Ray Marler * * * Harold Austin was Hamilton County’s crown jewel.   He was beloved by generations in municipal and state government. He knew so many involved in local, state, and federal roadway ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 90% Can’t Do Math

Friday’s newspaper headline blared, “Hamilton County Schools see dramatic growth in student performance” and that, my friend, is “fake news” at its finest. A better try might be, “90 Percent of Kids In Chattanooga Can’t Do Math.” Let’s face it: We know that a full 70 percent of 43,000 students in our public school system are not on track, this based on state test scores, and -- ... (click for more)