Cornbread: It's what's for competition | Rock Candy

Cornbread: It's what's for competition

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HARD TO BEAT:  Eunices cornbread
You know I've been talking about cornbread the past couple of weeks. You've probably been thinking about what you're going to do about that. Well, now you know.

There's a call for entries out — both for professionals and for amateurs — to be part of the inaugural Cornbread Festival, coming up November 5th. Prizes will be awarded for the best cornbread in three categories — traditional (that's unsweet, of course), sweet and non-traditional (that's if you put crazy stuff like blueberries or oranges in it). Amateurs and professionals will be judged separately. All the details are on the press release, on the jump.

Inaugural Cornbread Festival Set for November 5
Competition Open to Professionals, Amateurs;
Best in Show Awarded $500, Prizes

WHO: The Bernice Garden, a private, urban garden available for community use
WHAT: 2011 Cornbread Festival
WHEN: 11 a.m. — 2 p.m. — Cornbread tasting and judging
2-3 p.m. — Compile votes
3 p.m. — Announce winners
Saturday, November 5, 2011

WHERE: The Bernice Garden
Corner of Daisy Gatson Bates & South Main Street
Downtown Little Rock

BACKGROUND: Ask any Arkansan what his or her favorite meal is, and the answer will include cornbread in some way. To celebrate this simple dish in all of its comforting glory, the Bernice Garden will host the first Arkansas Cornbread Festival from 11 a.m. — 2 p.m. at the corner of Daisy Gatson Bates and South Main Street in downtown Little Rock on Saturday, November 5.

In addition to cornbread, sides and beverages, the festival will include blues, bluegrass and folk bands, children’s activities, nonprofit booths and vendors selling new and vintage goods.

The area south of Interstate 630 in downtown Little Rock is revitalizing by focusing on things that refresh everyone’s spirit — simple, pure and good food, nature, music and community,” said Anita Davis, community advocate and owner of the Bernice Garden. “The Cornbread Festival is an opportunity for people throughout Arkansas to see for themselves what the people in the southern part of downtown Little Rock find so appealing about the area.”

The festival is seeking up to 40 participants to compete for the best cornbread in Arkansas. Categories include traditional, nontraditional and sweet, and it is up to the participant to determine what category his or her cornbread is entered and judged. Space is available for 20 professionals, who are people or organizations that cook at a restaurant, as caterers, or otherwise are paid for their culinary creations. In addition, space is available for 20 amateurs, who are people or organizations who cook without compensation.

Cost for professionals to enter is $75, and professionals must provide all their own set up (booth, utensils, serving pieces, personnel, etc.). Cost of amateurs is $25, and the festival will provide a six ft. table, two chairs and tent. Amateurs must provide all other set up. Both professionals and amateurs must provide enough cornbread to provide one tablespoon-equivalent sample for up to 800 people as well as a side item of their choice — beans, peas, greens, chili, etc. Deadline for entry is 5 p.m. Friday, September 2, 2011 or when all 40 spaces are claimed, whichever comes first. For more information about how to enter, contact Liz Sanders, Bernice Garden coordinator, at 501-617-2511 or e-mail bernicegarden@gmail.com.

Cornbread will be ranked by two sets of judges: those attending the festival and a celebrity panel. Entries will be judged on a 1-10 (10 being best) scale based on flavor, texture, aroma, appearance and creativity. Subcategory winners include:

— Best amateur, traditional

— Best amateur, nontraditional

— Best amateur, sweet

— Best amateur, overall

— Best professional, traditional

— Best professional, nontraditional

— Best professional, sweet

— Best professional, overall

Category winners include:

— Best overall, traditional

— Best overall, nontraditional

— Best overall, sweet

— Best in show

Winners receive:

— Best in show - blue ribbon, apron, t-shirt and a check for $500

— Best overall winners - apron and a check for $100

— Best amateur and best professional in each category - t-shirt and check for $50

Tickets to the Cornbread Festival are $5 for adults, $3 for children 6-12 years old, and free for children five and younger.

For more information about the Cornbread Festival or the Bernice Garden, contact Liz Sanders, coordinator of the Bernice Garden, at 501-617-2511 or e-mail bernicegarden@gmail.com, or KD Reep at kelli@flywriteinc.com.

About The Bernice Garden

The Bernice Garden is privately-owned by Anita Davis but intended for public use. Located at the southeast corner of South Main Street and Daisy Bates Avenue in downtown Little Rock, the garden was created to celebrate the community and will host community events as well as its annual sculpture exhibit in an effort to foster community interaction and a sense of pride in the neighborhood. The 50’ x 57’ garden consists of landscaped areas with a crushed granite foundation for artworks, and next to the sculpture garden is a concrete patio, benches and approximately 20 parking spaces.

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