Colo., Jan. 5, 2007 - The 27th National Beef Cook-Off, funded by The Beef Checkoff, has begun accepting entries for the Sept. 11-13 event in Chicago, Ill. America's premier amateur beef-cooking contest is focusing on a 'Seize Life' theme, encompassing the essence of the contest's new categories and the role that beef plays in an active lifestyle.
This year's Cook-Off will demonstrate how beef satisfies consumers' appetites, enabling them to enjoy the food they're eating and also to feel good about the choices they've made. Underscoring the industry's commitment to innovative beef dishes, the Cook-Off is introducing four new categories: New Dynamic Beef Dishes, Nuevo Latino Beef Recipes, Kids in the Kitchen, and 'Small Plates, Big Taste' Grilled for Everyday Entertaining.
Twenty-five national finalists, including five parent/child teams, will compete for the "Best of Beef" grand prize of $50,000 and eight other cash prizes - with a total of $110,000 up for grabs. Family chefs are encouraged to enter their original beef recipes by March 31, 2007.
Funded by The Beef Checkoff, the Cook-Off arrives as Americans' love of beef continues to grow. "Through the years, the influence that the entire Beef Checkoff Program has had on how consumers buy and perceive our product has been significant," says Cattlemen's Beef Board Chairman Jay O'Brien, a beef producer from Amarillo, Texas. "Our job today is to build on this foundation and grow demand."
The Cook-Off is an integral part of the beef industry's efforts to educate the public and reinforce positive perceptions about beef by showcasing the enjoyable beef recipes that provide fuel for their families. The winning recipes will demonstrate the terrific taste of beef and the smart way it can be combined with other fresh ingredients to fuel the body to support an active lifestyle. In addition to promoting beef demand, the Cook-Off continues to drive awareness and purchase of a variety of fresh beef cuts. It encourages entrants to share a recipe that incorporates their favorite way to prepare beef, matching the cooking method to the fresh beef cut to ensure success - whether it's using a stovetop skillet, broiler or a grill.
The National Beef Cook-Off encourages amateur cooks nationwide to submit thousands of recipes for the biannual event. This promotion event, funded by the Beef Checkoff, provides endless opportunities for publicity. Media coverage of the 2005 Cook-Off generated more than 2,300 placements, equaling 357 million media impressions for the beef industry.