Sheryl Little of Sherwood, Arkansas Awarded $25,000 Grand Prize in 29th National Beef Cook-Off®
Fruit and Vegetable Stir Fry Wowed Judges with Unique Flavors and Nutritional Benefits
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 5, 2011) — With her stir fry recipe, Vegetable-Mango Beef Stir Fry, amateur home cook Sheryl Little of Sherwood, Arkansas won the 29th National Beef Cook-Off® $25,000 “Best of Beef” grand prize, topping recipes from 19 other finalists around the country. Sheryl was announced as the grand prize winner this weekend at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show in Washington D.C. Her winning recipe, along with other finalist recipes, will be demonstrated on the show floor by top chef’s and food experts, Mary Beth Albright, Food Network Star finalist, season seven; Susan Holt, chef instructor at CulinAerie; and Aviva Goldfarb, founder and author of The Six O’Clock Scramble.
This year’s contest encouraged all home cooks and entertaining enthusiasts to submit their delicious recipes demonstrating the convenience, nutritional and versatility benefits of cooking with beef. The winning Vegetable-Mango Beef Stir Fry recipe featured boneless beef top sirloin steaks, fresh sugar snap peas, red bell peppers and fresh mango tossed with garlic and low sodium soy sauce and served over brown or white rice. In addition, the dish is an excellent source of fiber, protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium, zinc and choline.
Each contest recipe was submitted in one of four categories, including the 5:30 PM Dinner Crunch, Retro Recipes Revived, Fuel Up with Beef or Stir Crazy Solutions. Recipes were judged by a panel of esteemed food journalists and bloggers back in July of this year. Criteria included: taste, appearance, convenient preparation and nutritional balance. The judges raved about Little’s recipe because of its unique combination of fresh fruit and vegetables and grain ingredients and her use of one of the 29 Lean Beef Cuts.
The 2011 judges included: Julie Miltenberger, editor, Family Circle; Niesha Lofing, food editor, Sacramento Bee; Sandy Hu, founder, Special Fork.com and Kristina Vanni, writer, Better Recipes.com.
“I am thrilled to be named the winner of this year’s Cook-Off,” said Little. “I grew up in the kitchen and there is nothing I’d rather do than create new recipes. I enjoy working with beef too because it’s a great source of protein and the wide variety of cuts give you countless ways to get creative in the kitchen. The Stir Crazy category gave me the opportunity to use fruits and vegetables that really compliment the beef and also create a colorful, beautiful and delicious recipe.”
Funded by the Beef Checkoff Program, the National Beef Cook-Off showcases Americans’ love of beef.
During its 35-year history, the Cook-Off has received accolades and the support of many notable culinary experts and is considered to be among the top three cooking contests in the nation.
“We’re delighted to name Sheryl Little and her Vegetable-Mango Beef Stir Fry recipe as the grand prize winner,” said Sherry Hill, National Beef Cook-Off program director. “All of our finalists’ recipes were exceptional; perfect examples of how to create delicious, quick and easy and nutritious beef meals in innovative ways.”
In addition to the “Best of Beef” $25,000 Grand Prize, four cash prizes were awarded in four categories. The winner in each category received $3,000. This year’s category winners are:
• Tedd Smith, Mount Vernon, NY: Asian Barbecued Skirt Steak
Contest Category: 5:30 PM Dinner Crunch
• Peggy Calhoun, Portland, OR: Steppin’ Up Beef Fried Rice
Contest Category: Retro Recipes Revived
• Edwina Gadsby, Great Falls, MT: Asian Beef Sandwiches with Slaw
Contest Category: Fuel Up with Beef
• Ellen Verdugo, Gloucester, MA: Flash in the Pan Stir-Fry
Contest Category: Stir Crazy Solutions
To view this year’s twenty winning recipes visit: Beef Cook Off 2011 Winners
About the National Beef Cook-Off
The National Beef Cook-Off® is a Beef Checkoff Program that began in 1974 as an annual contest and changed to a biennial contest in 1993. The Cook-Off is managed and coordinated by the American National CattleWomen, Inc.
During its 37-year history, the Cook-Off has received accolades and the support of many notable culinary experts. The National Beef Cook-Off® is considered to be among the top three cooking contests in the nation.
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The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.