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Irish Cookoff set for St. Patrick’s Day

When Irish eyes start smiling, it’s time for the Irish and the Irish wannabes of Pike County to get out their pots and pans and get to-cooking because it’s time for Troy University’s annual Irish Cooking Contest.

The contest is set for 11 a.m., St. Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, March 17 in the Trojan Center Food Court. But that doesn’t mean that the Irish Cooking Contest is just a university event, said Bronda Barron, Troy University director of annual giving and contest coordinator. “The Irish Cooking Contest is a community event and we want to encourage everyone who enjoys cooking and a challenge to enter.”

The rules are simple. Prepare an Irish dish, present it creatively and join the delicious sampling of all the entries once the judges have chosen the winners.

Categories for the Irish Cooking Contest are salads/appetizers, main entrees, side dishes/vegetables, desserts and breads.

First and second prizes will be awarded in each of the categories and a “Best of Show” overall.

A cook may enter all five categories but only one entry per category is allowed.

“The entries need to be Irish, but that’s what green food coloring and imaginative names are for,” Barron said, laughing. “Entries are judged on presentation as well as on taste and originality. So, an entry that tastes good and is presented in a unique way has a good chance of being a winner.”

In years past, Gary Chinberg of Troy has out-cooked and out-presented to the extent of dominating the contest.

But in 2009, he had some stiff competition and the word around town is that he will be challenged again for the title of king — or queen — of the Irish Cooking Contest.

Entry forms are available at the Troy University Office of Development, 1120 Highway 231, Troy. Entries may also be faxed to 334-670-5855.

Include name, address, city, phone number and categories in which you will be competing. The deadline for entry is March 11.