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Bold Flavors Highlight Chicken Cooking Contest; Regional competition held at Tyson Foods’ Discovery Center


Bold Flavors Highlight Chicken Cooking Contest; Regional competition held at Tyson Foods’ Discovery Center

Springdale, Arkansas .– Consumer interest in bolder-tasting foods highlighted a Cooking Contest 4.jpgregional judging event for the 48th National Chicken Cooking Contest, held today at Tyson World Headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas.

Eleven state champion chicken recipes submitted by home cooks from the mid-section of the U.S. were prepared and judged at Tyson’s Discovery Center, the company’s food research and development facility. Judges selected two regional winners to join contestants from seven other states in competition for the $50,000 grand prize at the National Cook-Off next spring in San Antonio.

The winner of the west north central region was Diane Sparrow of Osage, Iowa, for Mojito Chicken with Plantain Fried Rice. The west south central region winner was Nancy Walters of New Orleans, Louisiana, for Panko Crusted Chicken Salad with Arugala, Grilled stone fruit, feta cheese and a pomegranate balsamic dressing.

“The chicken recipes in this competition confirm people continue to want more variety and flavor in their foods,” said Mario Valdovinos, director of culinary services for Tyson’s Research and Development Department. “For example, some of the recipes use such ingredients as Caribbean jerk seasoning, finely minced jalapeno peppers, lime-coconut sauce, mangos and lemon zest. We’re taking a similar approach in our product development efforts at Tyson Foods, working with our retail and foodservice customers to create a broader offering of unique, flavorful chicken, beef and pork products.”

Valdovinos and other staff members at Tyson’s Discovery Center prepared the competing recipes for three food editors who served as judges. The editors subsequently picked one winner from the north central U.S. (North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri) and one from the south central part of the country (Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana). These regional champions each receive $1,000 in addition to the opportunity to compete for the grand prize.

“We are grateful to Tyson Foods for hosting the third regional judging in the 48th National Chicken Cooking Contest,” said Contest Director Nancy Tringali Piho. “Tyson’s support makes it possible for us to conduct a fair and effective judging in a very competitive field.”

The state winning recipes were selected from the thousands of entries submitted by home cooks across U.S. The contestants themselves are not present for the state-level and division-level judging but will attend and cook their dishes in the National Cook-Off, in a format similar to other top-level competitive cooking events.

“Regional judging is a new feature this year of the National Chicken Cooking Contest,” Piho said. “Regional judging will sharpen the focus of the National Cook-Off.” Other regional events have been held in Maryland and Mississippi and the last one will be held in California.

The National Chicken Cooking Contest is one of the top competitive cooking events in the country. It is sponsored by the National Chicken Council, the chicken industry’s trade association. The Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens. Member companies of NCC account for approximately 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.


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