Friday, July 15, 2011


A few days ago I posted about the  Utah State Fair's Governor's Favorite Pie Contest being changed to a the Governor's Favorite Meatloaf Contest.

I found out a little bit more about it by talking to Clark Caras, the new director of the fair and a former member of the Governor's Office of Economic Development.  He told me that the change was an effort to switch things up a little and bring some variety to the cooking contests.

Last year,  the competition was changed to Governor Herbert's Favorite Muffins Contest. This year, when he and the staff were talking about the contests, he pointed out that, "I have a personal knowledge that one of his favorite foods is meatloaf." 

He added that in the past, Marie Callender's has been a sponsor, and the restaurant chain is famous for both pies and their meatloaf.

"So when we talked about it with our staff, we decided it was something new, different and unique and personal to this Governor."

Caras added that the Governor had no input on the decision, "Other than when I let him know that's what the contest would be, he had a big smile."

The contest takes place at the Utah State Fair's Home Arts Building, on Friday, Sept. 16 at 5:30 p.m. (If you read this when I first posted it, you might notice that I've had to change the date twice due to the Governor's schedule changes.) 

The online entry deadline for all the indoor cooking contests is Aug. 26. You can find the rules for the cooking competitions at (

If you're a great cook and looking to win few bucks, I'd recommend entering some of these contests. The prize money ranges from around $100-$300, and there are usually smaller prizes for second and third place. In years past, some contests have had only  a half-dozen or so entries, so your odds off walking away with a prize are pretty good. Also, you get free entry to the fair, which is a nice bonus.

This year's indoor contests include Fleischmann's Bake For The Cure, C & H Cookie Contest, Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship, King Arthur Great Cake Contest, and Beef: Anywhere, Anytime.  The outdoor cook-offs include the Budweiser Chili Cook-Off, the Fresh-Made Salsa Competition, the Utah Beef Council Dutch Oven Mystery Bag Cook-Off, and the Utah Farm Bureau Great American Dutch Oven Cook-Off.  

Unfortunately, there are fewer opportunities to win this year.  Past sponsors such as  Hidden Valley Ranch, Spam, Malt-O-Meal, SACO and Lindsay Olives dropped their competitions. 

Caras wants to stress that you don't have to win a contest in your county fair in order to enter the State Fair.  "That's a misnomer." 


Kristy said...

The online entry deadline has passed. Would I still be able to enter the meatloaf contest if I wanted to? I noticed on the state fair website that if you miss the online deadline you can enter the day of the contest. Could you confirm that I can still enter the meatloaf contest? I'd hate to drive out there, and then find that I wasn't eligible. Thanks in advance,

Kristy Willhite

Valerie Phillips said...

Christy, You should call the Fair office and ask about eligibility questions.