San Antonio, Texas, will be the site of the 48th National Chicken Cooking Contest (NCCC), newly revised by the National Chicken Council, sponsor of the Contest, to allow more contestants to win cash prizes for their favorite chicken recipes. The Cook-Off will take place on May 2, 2009 at the Center for Foods of the Americas, a branch of the Culinary Institute of America located in San Antonio.
In its new format, the NCCC will feature nine regional winners from across the country, who will travel to San Antonio to compete for a grand prize of $50,000 for the best chicken recipe, as well as a Judges’ Choice prize of $10,000 for the chicken recipe that best reflects new trends in cooking.
“We are making some changes to the format of the National Chicken Cooking Contest, but at the same time are preserving it as one of the top competitive cooking events in the nation,” said Contest Director Nancy Tringali Piho. “It has been 25 years since we made a major change to the structure of the NCCC, and we thought that it was time to streamline the operations.” A biennial event since 1982, the 47th NCCC was held in Birmingham, Alabama, in May of this year.
A winning recipe from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia will be selected by an independent panel of judges. The winner from each state will, for the first time, receive a cash prize of $100. State winners will be notified by December 31, 2008.
All state winners’ recipes will then move to a new regional level of competition. National Chicken Council member companies across the country will host the regional events in January of 2009. Test kitchen personnel and other professional cooks will prepare the winning state dishes for a panel of three regional media and/or food professional judges. Nine regional winners will be selected – one for each of the official divisions of the country as designated by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The nine regional divisions of the Cook-Off are: New England, Middle Atlantic, South Atlantic, East North Central, East South Central, West North Central, West South Central, Mountain and Pacific.
The nine contestants whose recipes are selected as regional champions will win a $1,000 cash prize and an expense-paid trip to San Antonio for the 48th NCCC, where they will prepare their dishes for a national panel of five media judges who will determine the national winners.
“The new prize structure of the National Chicken Cooking Contest allows more people to win money for their chicken recipes,” said Piho. “We have not previously had cash prizes below the national competition. We are excited about building momentum throughout the competition process as we search for the best chicken recipes in the USA.”
The entry period for the 48th NCCC will open in late 2007 and will run until August 31, 2008. The rules for the Contest are expected to remain largely the same as in past Cook-Offs, and will be announced on the web site www.eatchicken.com later this year.
The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens. Member companies of NCC account for approximately 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.