Hormel Historic Home to host ‘Foodie Throwdown’ contest on March 9

Published 11:53 am Friday, March 1, 2013

The biggest culinary competition in town is back again.

The second annual “Foodie Throwdown: Taste of America” will be held starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at the Hormel Historic Home.

Inspired by TV shows like “Top Chef,” the competition will feature tasting portions produced by six teams, each competing to have their food named “People’s Choice” at the end of the evening.

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The event opens with a social hour and entertainment by Peter Jacobs at 6 p.m. Guests can view each team making final preparation for the night until 7 p.m., when their creations will be available for sampling. Sampling continues until 8:30 p.m., followed by vote tallying and an award ceremony.

“There are so many hobby chefs in Austin, and an event like this gives them the opportunity to share their passion and talent with the community,” said HHH Executive Director Holly Johnson.

The HHH has added a new element to the competition this year: They will share a portion of the proceeds with the Salvation Army.

“Our annual fundraising events help support our general operating budge, but we feel strongly about continuing the Hormel family tradition of giving to the community,” Johnson said. “So when a person supports the HHH they are also supporting other area agencies.”

In keeping with the Taste of America theme, each team was assigned a region of the U.S. to feature. Gareth Hayate of Innovision, a 2012 competitor, will offer “The Deep South.” Chefs Mark Beland and Glenda Hillman of the Austin hospital will offer “The Pacific Northwest.” Neal Hull of Hormel Foods Corp will bring the audience “New England.” Brad Evans, chef and newcomer to Austin, will focus on “The Midwest,” and “The Southwest/Rocky Mountains” will be offered by Diane Sherman and Ilene Carroll, also returning 2012 contestants. Chefs Kristine Merten, also from the 2012 competition, and Elizabeth Diser of Hy-Vee, will share the cuisine of “California/Hawaii.”

Guests will receive a voting token upon entry and will cast a vote for their favorite before the evening closes with an awards ceremony. To attend, contact the Hormel Historic Home office for tickets or order online at www.hormelhistorichome.org. Cost is $30 per person.