Friday, January 29, 2010

2010 Manischewitz Cook-Off is coming

By Helen Klein

Brooklynites, start your ovens!

A year after Bay Ridge resident Erin Evenson was a finalist in the Manischewitz Cook-Off, the deadline for the annual event, now in its fourth year, is fast approaching.

To participate, competitors are asked to create an original recipe using Manischewitz products -- this year, entrants are required to utilize new Manischewitz all-natural broth -- and submit it by January 31st, to be entered in the Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off, which offers prize packages to finalists, with a hefty grand prize for the winner, who will be crowned King or Queen of Kosher.

Last year, Evenson’s Ruby Red Risotto, which featured Manischewitz borscht, propelled her to the February, 2009, cookoff, where she made her Risotto -- enriched with pistachio-basil pesto and garlic herb goat cheese -- for a panel of judges from the world of food. In so doing, Evenson -- a transplanted Brooklynite in love with the culinary offerings of her adopted borough -- had the distinction of being one of six home cooks who made it to the finals, out of thousands of submissions.

This year, world-renowned chef Jacques Pépin will be the master of ceremonies at the cookoff, and head up the panel of judges who will officiate at the March 18th event, which will be held at the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan.

Five finalists will received all-expense-paid trips to New York to compete. The grand prize winner will walk away with a $25,000 prize package that includes, among other things, GE Profile kitchen appliances and cash.

For Pépin, the author of a whopping 26 cookbooks as well as the host of 11 television cooking series, participation in the competition as a judge is an extension of his life’s work. “I always encourage people to experiment with new types of ethnic cuisine and products,” he remarked.

In its first three years, the competition has attracted upwards of 10,000 participants who have “shared some amazing recipes,” noted David Yale, the president of Manischewitz.

The competition is open to U.S. residents who are at least 18 years of age. According to Manischewitz, “All recipes must be original, kosher, include a new Manischewitz Broth product, have no more than a total of eight ingredients, and be prepared and cooked in one hour or less.”

Entries will be culled to 15 semi-finalists; those recipes will be prepared in Manischewitz’s test kitchen, and winnowed down to five finalists.

An entry form and official contest details can be found at Entries can be submitted on line or can be mailed to Manischewitz Cook-Off, c/o BHGPR, 546 Valley Road, Upper Montclair NJ 07043.


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