Beef will be taking center stage at the Nebraska State Fair on Friday, September 2nd during the “Beef Masters Culinary Challenge” presented by the Nebraska Beef Council and Central Community College in Hastings. The contest will take place in the Raising Nebraska Building, north of the main entrance, from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm. Admission is free with paid entry to the State Fair.
The contest is modeled after the popular television series “Chopped” where chef contestants compete to create the best dish using ingredients from a mystery basket. The contest at the State Fair will feature four teams of culinary students from Central Community College in Hastings.
“We had a lot of fun with the Nebraska’s Best Burger contest at the fair last year and so we wanted to keep that excitement going,” said Adam Wegner, director of marketing for the Nebraska Beef Council. “The contestants will be preparing various beef dishes for a panel of judges. It will be exciting because the contestants won’t know what the beef cuts are or what the other ingredients will be until moments before the contest begins.”
The student chefs will be working in teams of two and will have 30 minutes to prepare, plate and serve their dish to the judges. Each round, one team will be eliminated until a winner is determined.
“This is such a great opportunity for our students to use their creativity and to show off the culinary skills they’ve learned through our program,” said Lindsay Higel, hospitality management and culinary arts program director at Central Community College in Hastings. “You have to be able to think on your feet when you’re a chef. Sometimes you have to improvise and make adjustments along the way.”
The contestants will be competing for prizes and the coveted title of “Beef Master.” Audience members will also have the opportunity to win door prizes and other give-a-ways.
“We want this event to be both entertaining and educational,” said Wegner. “The audience will walk away with creative ideas for putting beef on the table and confidence that they too can create some delicious beef meals right at home.”
For more information about the Beef Masters Culinary Challenge, visit the Nebraska Beef Council Facebook page.