2023 Wild Foods Cook-Off!

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Once again, it’s time to show off your wild food cooking skills! The Sandhills Rod and Gun Club, Martha Faye Crafters Club (formerly Extension Homemakers), and N.C. Cooperative Extension, Richmond County Center are sponsoring the twenty-first annual Wild Foods Cooking Contest.

Below are the categories:

1- Dishes prepared with Wild Meat

Big Game, Small Game, and Other Mammals, Wild Fowl and Fish and Reptiles & Amphibians

2- Dishes prepared with Wild Fruits, Nuts and Vegetation

3- Desserts prepared with wild ingredients

The contest will be held on Tuesday, April 4th at The Sandhills Rod and Gun Club, located at 149 O.G. Reynolds Road in Ellerbe. Entries must be registered from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Judging will begin at 6:30. No dishes will be accepted after 6:30 p.m.  This year’s program is titled “Precolonial Foods of Native People”.

Voting is done through people’s choice judging where everyone who participates gets to vote on their favorite dish!!

The dish with the most votes from each of the three categories will win a prize.

The dish with the most Grand Champion votes will win the over-all Grand Prize.

Contest Rules:

  • Anyone can participate.
  • Game cannot be purchased. It must be obtained legally or received as a gift.
  • Game may be from anywhere; NC or out-of-state.
  • The dish must be fully prepared abiding by food safety guidelines.
  • Two copies of the recipe with your name on the back are required: one for display with the dish for judging and for the cookbook. You may wish to bring extra for sharing with others who admire what you prepared!
  • Dishes should be able to provide 8 or more servings, so everyone can have a taste.
  • In the event of a tie, a coin toss will decide the winner.
  • Please bring your utensils to serve the dish.

The prizes are sponsored by the Sandhills Rod and Gun Club. The number one vote getter from Meat and Non-meat categories will each receive a prize. For more information, please call the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Richmond County Center at 910-997-8255 or email Anthony_Growe@ncsu.edu. Registration is not required.

If you are not preparing a dish but would like to attend this event as a taster, the cost is $5.00 per person with children under 6 free. Everyone who brings a dish receives two tickets for admission.

Food Safety Guidelines for Wild Foods Cook-Off

  • Make sure you wash your hands before and after every different task in the kitchen
  • Use separate equipment for raw and ready-to-eat foods to avoid cross-contamination
  • Cook foods to the correct temperature: Remember poultry is anything with wings!! SEE THE CHART BELOW!
  • Thaw foods correctly- in the refrigerator, under cool running water, in the microwave or part of the cooking process
  • Refrigerate foods promptly after cooking-do not let foods sit at room temperature before the cook-off because bacteria will start to grow quickly!
  • Bring foods at the temperature that they should be served- we will not have reheating capabilities
Is It Done Yet?
Ground Meat & Meat Mixtures Internal Temperature
Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb 160°F
Turkey, Chicken 165°F
Fresh Beef, Pork, Veal & Lamb 145°F
Chicken & Turkey, Whole 165°F
Poultry Parts 165°F
Duck & Goose 165°F
Stuffing (Cooked alone or in bird) 165°F
Fresh(Raw) 160°F
Pre-Cooked (To reheat) 140°F
Eggs & Egg Dishes
Eggs Cook until yolk & White are firm
Egg Dishes 160°F
Fin Fish 145°F or Flesh is Opaque
Shrimp, Lobster & Crabs Shells open during cooking
Clams, Oysters & Mussels 160°F
Scallops Milky white or opaque & firm