Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ohio Poultry Association to Feature Tasty Competitions, Food Options at State Fair

The 157th Ohio State Fair is just around the corner and this year chefs will have the opportunity to flex their culinary muscles and stir up some sweet creations during three cooking competitions sponsored by the Ohio Poultry Association (OPA).

In conjunction with National Cheesecake Day on July 30, OPA, along with the American Dairy Association Mideast, is sponsoring the popular “Smile and Say, Cheesecake!” contest.

This tasty competition is making its sixth debut at the fair and will be held at 10 a.m. on July 30 in the DiSalle Creative Arts Center. Cheesecakes will be judged based on creativity, taste, appearance, ease of preparation and appeal, and each cake must contain at least four fresh Ohio eggs and “real dairy” products.

“This contest offers us the opportunity to showcase Ohio’s wholesome, nutritious egg and dairy products while also letting local cooks show off their culinary skills,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “Ohio eggs are delicious and can be used to make a wide variety of simple everyday meals. They are also nutritious— one egg is only 75 calories, yet it contains many essential vitamins and nutrients.” Chakeres said past award-winning cheesecake recipes and baking tips can be accessed at

In addition, OPA is sponsoring two other culinary competitions at the fair: “Breakfast for Two” and “Cupcakes Galore.”

The “Cupcakes Galore” contest returns for its second year and will take place at 1 p.m. on July 30 in the DiSalle Creative Arts Center. Following the competition, a baker from the Kroger Company will conduct a cooking demonstration about the art of cupcakes and also offer party planning tips for aspiring cupcake-makers. This contest is open to amateur bakers only, all recipes must be homemade and each participant must use a combination (whites or yolks) of three to four eggs in each recipe.

In partnership with the American Dairy Association Mideast, the “Breakfast for Two” competition will kick off at 10 a.m. on July 31 with a cooking challenge that will pit local celebrity chefs NewsCenter’s Johnny DiLoretto, NBC4’s Mindy Drayer and Rybak of CD101 FM’s Morning Show against four Ohio State Fair commissioners.

After the celebrity chef competition, up to 20 exhibitors will be judged on recipes they must prepare in 10-15 minutes. Four chefs will participate in each round.

In addition to the culinary competitions, OPA will again be offering fairgoers affordable, nutritious meals featuring fresh, Ohio-produced eggs, turkey and chicken from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day of the fair’s operation, from July 28 to Aug. 8, in the Taste of Ohio Café.

A variety of foods from Ohio’s egg, chicken and turkey farmers will offer fairgoers a healthy alternative to traditional fair food. Prices range from $1 for a snack to $7 for a complete meal. The menu includes:

Sandwiches, including chicken salad, egg salad, shredded chicken, turkey and chicken breast;
Chicken and noodles;
Chicken nuggets;
Thanksgiving-style turkey dinner with all the trimmings;
Chicken dinner;
Salads, available with eggs, chicken, chicken salad or turkey;
“Hot Shot” open-faced turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy;
The fair-favorite egg on a stick; and
Chicken nugget kids’ meals.

Ohio is the number-two egg-producing state in the nation, behind Iowa. Ohio egg farmers produce more than seven billion eggs each year. Ohio is 11th in the nation for turkey production and produces almost 200 million pounds of chicken for sale each year.

“Ohio’s egg and poultry farmers are dedicated to putting safe, healthy sources of protein on the tables of families across the state,” said Chakeres. “The Ohio State Fair offers us the chance to demonstrate our commitment to providing consumers with high-quality foods and our support for Ohio’s top economic contributor: agriculture.”

To find out more information about the culinary competitions, please visit and click on “Competitions” and then on “Creative Arts” and select the “Culinary” category. For more information about Ohio’s egg, chicken and turkey sectors, please visit

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