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28th National Beef Cook-Off(R) Seeks 'Sonoma-Style' Recipe Entries

DENVER, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Sonoma is known for delicious food, great wine and beautiful scenery. In 2009, Sonoma will also be known for inventive beef recipes. The 28th National Beef Cook-Off will come to California in late September, during the peak of the area's beautiful harvest season to host both a Home Cook competition and a Chef/Media Challenge. Home cooks nationwide, and local professional restaurant chefs working in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento metropolitan area counties are encouraged to showcase their "Sonoma-Style" by entering their original, newly developed best beef recipes by March 31, 2009.

"Sonoma is the perfect location for this year's Cook-Off, as it sets the stage for home cooks and professional restaurant chefs to tap into their culinary inspiration and create their best beef dishes," said Sherry Hill, Cook-Off Program Manager for the American National CattleWomen, Inc., the beef industry organization which presents the National Beef Cook-Off on behalf of the Cattlemen's Beef Board and the Federation of State Beef Councils. The Beef Checkoff Program along with contest sponsors Raley's Bel Air and Nob Hill Foods, the official grocer of the 2009 National Beef Cook-Off, Korbel-Kenwood Vineyards, and Kunde Vineyards are bringing the best competition yet to Sonoma.

Home cooks from across the country can submit their original beef recipes that have a simple approach reflecting the Sonoma-Style diet, using few ingredients that compliment the beef while adding color, texture and flavor to the dish.

Recipe entries should shine with great taste, health and convenience and should yield four to six servings. Fifteen home cook finalists will be selected to compete in the Mediterranean-like climate that is Sonoma, California, for prizes totaling $70,000 on September 23, 2009. One grand prize winner will receive $25,000, three category winners will each receive $10,000 and three runner-up winners will each receive $5,000 in cash prizes.

Professional restaurant chefs working in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento metropolitan area counties are asked to submit their original, newly developed beef dish that best portrays "Sonoma-Style" cooking. Recipes should yield 24 servings. Six professional restaurant chef finalists will be selected from the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento counties to compete on September 21, 2009, when they will prepare and present their original "Best of Beef" dish in a private Chef/Media Team Challenge, for prizes totaling approximately $5,000. One grand prize winner will receive one paid registration and trip to the December 2009 Texas A&M University "Beef 101 Seminar"; one People's Choice Award winner will receive one paid registration to the 2009 Culinary Institute of America's Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival; and four first place winners will each receive $500 in cash prizes.

    Four new recipe categories focus on the "Sonoma-Style" theme:

    -- Live Well with Fast & Convenient Grilled Beef Recipes -- Home cooks
       will demonstrate beef's role as a healthy and easy option for busy
    -- Teens Cooking with Beef -- Teens submit their favorite family beef
       recipe that they enjoy preparing themselves at home.
    -- Lean Beef in Nutrient -- Rich One-Dish Meals -- Home cooks will pair
       lean beef cuts with other nutrient-rich ingredients to promote
       enjoyable, healthful meals.
    -- San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento Counties "Best of Beef"
       Chefs -- This category gives local professional restaurant chefs an
       opportunity to display their eclectic Sonoma flair for beef.

The National Beef Cook-Off requires entrants to enter recipes online at, or by postal mail to: National Beef Cook-Off Entries, ANCW, P.O. Box 3881, Englewood, CO 80155 by March 31, 2009. Mailed entries must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2009, and received on or before midnight April 7, 2009.

Submit recipe entries online, view the complete contest rules and explore winning recipes from past contests at The contest is open to legal United States residents, residing in one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older as of January 1, 2009, to enter the Live Well, Lean Beef or "Best of Beef" Chef categories, or are between the ages of 13-19 as of January 1, 2009 for the Teens Cooking category.

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.

Since 1952, the American National CattleWomen, Inc., a non-profit volunteer organization, has used its grassroots volunteer spirit to educate consumers about the versatile and nutritious quality of beef.

SOURCE American National CattleWomen, Inc.
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