Winners of 2016 Wild Foods Contest

— Written By and last updated by Nancy Power
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The 2016 Wild Foods Cook-Off Contest went off with a bang! Participants really got a chance to show off their wild foods cooking skills to everyone in Richmond County! The sixteenth annual Wild Foods Cooking Competition was sponsored by Sandhills Rod and Gun Club, Martha Faye Crafters Club (formerly Extension Homemakers), and North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Jeff Marcus, NC Longleaf Pine Restoration Director with The Nature Conservancy gave a presentation titled Through the Pines:  A Journey in the Longleaf Forest which explored the longleaf forest through the eyes of a gopher frog.


First place dish was Venison Sausage Balls on bed of chickweed by Emanuel May.

The first place winners of the following 5 categories were:

  • Big Game, small game, and other mammals –  Emanuel May with Venison Sausage Balls
  • Wild fowl and fish – John Allen with Cat Fish Gumbo
  • Wild fruits, nuts and vegetation-  Phyllis Strider with Persimmon Pudding
  • Most Authentic-  Chuck Hall with Rattle Snake Fritters
  • Youth-  Payton Smith with Bear Sliders

After the dishes were judged, the real fun began when the leftovers were served to the tasting party. There were 15 dishes available for 80 people to taste. The tasting party got to try unique dishes such as jack rabbit, bear, and rattle snake that they have never eaten before. If you would like to organize a wild food event, please call Cheri Bennett, Food and Consumer Science agent for the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Richmond County Center, at 910-997-8255.