Mary Hawkes of Prescott, Ariz., Brings Home the “Best of Beef” $25,000 Grand Prize in 28th National Beef Cook-Off®
Sonoma Steaks with Vegetables Bocconcini Wowed Judges with “Sonoma Style” Flair
SONOMA, CALIF. (Sept. 25, 2009) – With her recipe for Sonoma Steaks with Vegetables Bocconcini, amateur home cook Mary Hawkes of Prescott, Ariz., won the 28th National Beef Cook-Off® $25,000 “Best of Beef” grand prize, topping recipes from 14 other finalists. The competition awarded $70,000 in total prize money.
This year’s Cook-Off “Sonoma Style” theme focused on fresh, flavorful ingredients paired with nutrient-rich beef cuts. The winning Sonoma Steaks with Vegetables Bocconcini recipe featured grilled beef top loin steaks, zucchini, yellow bell pepper and red grape tomatoes tossed with herb-marinated fresh mozzarella balls. In addition, the dish is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium and zinc; and a good source of iron.
Each contestant prepared their recipe for evaluation by a judging panel of local and national food journalists. Criteria included: taste, appearance, convenient preparation and nutritional balance. The judges raved about Hawkes’ recipe because of its overall simplicity, her efficient use of ingredients, and the mellow flavor and texture of the mozzarella balls partnered with the smoky grilled steak and vegetables.
Funded by the Beef Checkoff Program, the National Beef Cook-Off showcases Americans’ love of beef. The Cook-Off promotes beef consumption by reaching consumers with appealing beef recipes that deliver on taste, health and convenience.
In addition to the “Best of Beef” Grand Prize, six cash prizes were awarded in three categories.
The winner in each category received $10,000. This year’s category winners are:
• Live Well with Fast & Convenient Grilled Beef Recipes ($10,000 prize): Kristina Vanni – Hollywood, Calif.
• Teens Cooking with Beef ($10,000 prize): Morgan Hanrahan – Olympia, Wash.
• Lean Beef in Nutrient Rich One-Dish Meals ($10,000 prize): Elizabeth Bennett – Mill Creek, Wash.
The runner-up in each category received $5,000. This year’s runner-up winners are:
• Live Well with Fast & Convenient Grilled Beef Recipes ($5,000 prize): Deborah Biggs – Omaha, Neb.
• Teens Cooking with Beef ($5,000 prize): Erin Ozment – Purcell, Okla.
• Lean Beef in Nutrient Rich One-Dish Meals ($5,000 prize): Fran Fehling – Staten Island, N.Y.
To view this year’s winning recipes visit: www.BeefCookOff.org.
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