Wild Game Cook-off this Saturday at Superspeedway
by Elsie Hodnett
Feb 05, 2014 | 821 views |  0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The annual Alabama Wildlife Federation/Alabama Army National Guard Wild Game Cook-off at the Talladega Superspeedway is Saturday.

“We have 29 cook teams registered so far,” said Tommy Tidwell, Wild Game Cook-off Coordinator for the Alabama Wildlife Federation.

The Ninth Annual Alabama Wildlife Federation/Alabama Army National Guard Wild Game Cook-off at the Talladega Superspeedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Garage. Gates open at 3 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person, $50 per couple, and youth 15 and under get in free. The cook-off starts at 4 p.m. with awards presented to the winners about 6 p.m.

“We usually have cook teams show up the day of the cook-off,” Tidwell said. “We anticipate 30-35 teams this year.”

Tidwell said the first 40 cook teams to pre-register by Thursday will receive four tickets to the Saturday and Sunday spring race. Entry for the cook teams is free, and each team receives four memberships to the Alabama Wildlife Federation.

“We will still take cook teams the day of the event, but they won’t qualify for the race tickets,” he said.

Track rides are available for $25 for those who purchase their tickets by Friday. Track rides are available the day of the event for $40. Each ride also qualifies the purchaser for a drawing for one 6-lap Superspeedway Teaser with the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure.

Tidwell said the event features live entertainment, raffles, youth activities and a silent auction.

“The silent auction features items including wildlife prints, Auburn and Alabama sports prints, items geared toward outdoor enthusiasts and more,” he said.

Tidwell said all proceeds benefit the Alabama Wildlife Federation.

“The event raised more than $20,000 last year, which goes into conservation programs throughout the state,” he said.

Tidwell said at least one former state champion is coming from Montgomery to cook at the Talladega Superspeedway.

“We had about 700-800 people attend last year,” he said. “This is our way of introducing people to wild game and let them taste the talents of chefs state-wide. Wild game is good table fare and hunters utilize the game they harvest as part of the overall conservation process.”

The AWF mission is “to promote the conservation of Alabama’s wildlife and related natural resources, as a basis for the social and economic prosperity of present and future generations, through wise use and responsible stewardship of our wildlife, forests, fish, soils, water, and air.”

Cooking teams may have up to four members. The cook-offs are a celebration of game animals, game birds and game fish that can be harvested and utilized for food. “Wild Game” is defined as fish, fowl or game that can be found in the wild of North America. Trophies are awarded for first, second and third place in three categories: fish, fowl and game. There is also an award for “Best Overall.”

Teams may enter up to one dish in each regular category, but a single team can only win first place in one category. If a team’s highest scoring dish wins one of the three categories, it is in the running for “Best Overall.”

The award for “Best Overall” will go to the cook team with the highest scoring individual dish, judged on taste and originality with taste weighed more heavily. The “Best Overall” winner earns the right to compete for the title “State Champion” at AWF headquarters in Millbrook at the end of the season.

Teams are asked to provide samples for up to four judges and to provide people attending the cook-off with at least 50-75 bite-size samples of any dish entered into the judging competition.

A “Best Presentation Award” will go to the cook team with the best decorations and presentation for their cook team area that best reflects the atmosphere of a “Wild Game” cook-off.

The Alabama Army National Guard is the title sponsor and will award a special “People’s Choice” award, which is voted on by the general public.

Judging takes place prior to the event opening to the public at a time determined by the local committee.

Complete team guidelines are available online at www.alabamawildlife.org. Participants may register online or by calling 1-800-822-9453. For more information, call Tommy Tidwell at 1-800-822-9453.

Contact Elsie Hodnett at ehodnett@dailyhome.com.