The Axed cooking competition held during the 2nd Annual Rural Living Expo and Trade Show at the North Thompson Agriplex in Barriere proved to be a fun and popular event – one that is already being requested be hosted again next year.
Contestants Gerald Allgaier, Susan Black, Bob Hayward and Deb Young were presented with a secret bag of ingredients to prepare a three course meal. For the appetizer they were given baby shrimp, cherry tomatoes, Cheezies and wheat husks; the entree – cooked noodles, BBQ pork, canned gravy and Beaver Tail Cactus; and for dessert – honey garlic sauce, bananas, Graham Wafers and whipping cream. A full shelf of condiments and spices was also available, as well as microwaves, hot plates and blenders.
Each of the three course preparations were performed under a stop watch for the cooks, and their dishes were then sampled by a panel of three judges, consisting of Inez Wadland, Al Fortin and Paul Morris. The judges scored the dishes accordingly, and the lowest score was ‘axed’, or dropped from the competition, leaving the other cooks to continue.
It was entertaining to see what the cooks could do with the odd ingredients, and especially to see what the judges thought of the results. Some of their facial expressions told the story much to the delight of the crowd and the chagrin of the contestants.
The final cook off consisted of Deb Young and Bob Hayward who seemed to have a great time going bowl to bowl with their creations. Amazingly, when all the scores from the three courses had been tallied for the two – it was a tie for first place! So, back to the judges who reviewed their scores, and brought forth Deb Young as the winner with a split of only one point for Hayward.
Young was presented with the coveted ‘Axe’ award by MC Gordie West, while Hayward and the other contestants received a hand knitted dish cloth with the ‘Axed’ insignia on it.
The event organizers were Bob Sorenson, Lynn Wright, Nora Johnson, Carol Patton and Val Stamer.
“We couldn’t have done it without everyone contributing,” said Johnson, “This has been wonderful and a whole lot of fun. Thank you to everyone who helped, participated and came out to support and watch the cook off.”