SILVER CITY — Sweet and savory smells in mountain scenery return with the 11th annual Glenwood Dutch Oven Cook-Off next week in Glenwood.
This event is designed to be reminiscent of the old days when members of small communities would gather for shared food and to visit. It is held every year at the Glenwood Community Park on CatWalk Road, just an hour north of Silver City. Last year's event drew more than 800 visitors.
Glenwood's first Dutch Oven Cook-Off was organized in 2003 by Wendy Peralta, owner of the Glenwood Trading Post. Each year since, the event has grown — in size, number of cooks, and variety of food and fun. It began to grow so large, in fact, that a committee was formed to help Peralta. Now, people like Gale Moore and Leah Jones Zachek help to organize it. Each year, proceeds from the Cook-Off go to benefit the Community Park in Glenwood, where many events take place.
According to Zachek, the event is usually held a little earlier in March, but given the month's testy weather and Easter's placement this year, they decided early April would work better.
This year, organizers promise plenty of food for everyone. Experienced chefs or amateurs are welcome to try their hands at this age-old method of outdoor cooking and to enter the competition, no matter where they call home.
Cooking categories for the competition will again be "Fancy Fixer," "Camp Cookie," and "Tenderfoot," with submitted recipes and level of experience considered. Cooks can register to do Single Pot or Three Pot dishes in these categories. Three Pot consists of a main dish, bread, and dessert. Entry fees are $15 for Single Pot and $30 for Three Pot. Winning cooks will share jackpot cash awards and specialty prizes. Awards Presentation follows the Tasters' Delight.
Eager entrants can get a Cook's Packet any time up until the event. The Cook's Packet includes an entry form, rules, directions, lodging, vendor spaces and other information.
The Tasters' Delight event begins at 2 p.m., as soon as the competition judging is complete. In the Tasters' Delight, all the Dutch Oven cooks bring their food to the Pavilion for folks to taste samples of the dishes. This year, the price is $7.50 per plate.
There will be music, dancing and craft vendors as well. The price for a space as a vendor is $25.
Bucky Allred will also be selling his famous barbecue sandwiches with chips and coleslaw. The Glenwood Senior Center will sell breakfast burritos, cinnamon rolls, tea and lemonade. Organizers recommend getting tickets early for the Tasters' Delight, because they sell out quickly, and to be at the park to get in line by 2 p.m.
"We never really know how many cooks are going to show up until they show," Zachek said. "That's why we asked Bucky to show up and help supplement the amount of food at the cook-off tasting."
Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs as well as their appetites.
Western Bank, Ace Hardware and The Glenwood Gazette have signed on as event sponsors — adding to the prize money for winning cooks.
"The way it's grown is fantastic," said Zachek. "We get more and more people coming up every year. It's a little, bitty town and it's just great to have so many visitors."
For more information on entering the contest or participating as a vendor, call Leah Jones Zachek at 575-545-3737. For more information on entering the contest or to get a Cook's Packet, call Gale Moore at 575-388-4806 or email email@example.com.
If you go:
What: 11th annual Glenwood Dutch Oven Cook-Off. Vendors cook in old-fashioned Dutch Ovens throughout the day as visitors hungrily wait.
When: 9 a.m. to late afternoon April 6
Where: Community Park on Catwalk Road in Glenwood
Cost: $7.50 per plate. Proceeds benefit the Glenwood Community Park.
Information: Call Gale Moore at 575-388-4806.
Benjamin Fisher can be reached at (575) 538-5893 ext. 5803.