Douglas County Fair to feature local food galore

From left in foreground Alejandro Lule, and Subarna Bhattachan, of Zen Zero, begin grilling food Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011, during the Chef's Challenge at the Douglas County Fair. Chefs from three Lawrence restaurants, including Free State Brewery and Pachamamas, competed in the event using locally-grown produce. In background at far left is Pachamama chef Ken Baker and at right is Hal Beckerman, kitchen manager at Free State Brewery.

From left in foreground Alejandro Lule, and Subarna Bhattachan, of Zen Zero, begin grilling food Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011, during the Chef's Challenge at the Douglas County Fair. Chefs from three Lawrence restaurants, including Free State Brewery and Pachamamas, competed in the event using locally-grown produce. In background at far left is Pachamama chef Ken Baker and at right is Hal Beckerman, kitchen manager at Free State Brewery. by Mike Yoder

At the Douglas County Fair you can enter food in contests, buy food, eat food and watch professional chefs prepare food.

Here’s a list of the fair’s open-to-the-public food events, all at the Douglas County Fair Grounds, 2110 Harper St. For contest rules and a map of the fair grounds, download a Douglas County Fair Book at dgcountyfair.com.

Open class food contests

Entries accepted from 2-7 p.m. Monday, July 30. Judging is Tuesday, July 31. Winning entries will remain on display through Saturday, Aug. 4

Categories include various breads, cakes, pies, cookies, jellies, jams and pickles. Ribbons are awarded in each category, with a champion and reserve champion named in food preparation and food preservation.

President’s Pie Baking Contest

7:30-9:30 a.m. daily, Tuesday, July 31, through Saturday, Aug. 4, Dreher Building.

Celebrity judges and the Fair Board President will pick three winners from each day’s entries. After judging, pies are sliced and sold at the 4-H food stand. At the end of the week, the president picks the top overall winners. The contest only accepts baked fruit and nut pies, pies requiring refrigeration are not allowed.

Food Sale

2-7 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, Building 21.

After judging, open class and 4-H food entries will go up for sale to the public. Proceeds benefit Douglas County 4-H.

Naturally Nutritious Food Festival and Cooking Contest

Wednesday, Aug. 1, Building 21. Entries accepted from 6-7 p.m., with judging at 7 p.m.

Open categories are Fresh Salsa, Creative Cold Salads, International Cuisine, Local Goodness Main Dish (must feature at least four ingredients produced or grown in Kansas), Appetizer or Snack (made with local ingredients) and Healthy Dessert made with fresh fruit. Young Chef Categories, for cooks 12 and younger, are Quick Lunch Idea featuring Local Produce and Healthy Snacks featuring Fresh Fruit. Written recipes required for all categories.

Farmers Market

4-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, north of Extension Office.

The Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market will move its market from the hardware store to the fairgrounds for one night. More than 30 vendors, including school gardens, are expected to sell local produce and homemade goods. There will be a "produce check" in the Dreher 4-H building, where patrons can leave the produce they purchased while they enjoy the rest of the fair.

Chef’s Local Food Challenge

5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, north of Extension Office.

Three Lawrence chefs will demonstrate seasonal recipes using food from farmers market vendors. Last year's winner, Free State Brewery chef Russell Iverson, will compete against Dave Nigro of Hy-Vee and Wallace Cochran of the Merc. Judges will select the winner, and samples will be shared with the public, which will pick the winner of the people's choice award.

Tagged: food, local food, Douglas County Fair, farmers market

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