Monday, March 19, 2012

Dutch Oven World Champions

Doug Martin, left, and Matt Pelton are the IDOS World Champs.
Matt Pelton of  Provo and Doug Martin of Draper won the International Dutch Oven Society's 2012 World Championship Cook-Off on Saturday during the International Sportsmen's Expo.
The event attracted teams from Idaho, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Washington, and Idaho, as well as Utah, the headquarters (or I guess you could say "hotbed") of IDOS. I covered the event for the Deseret News (you can look for the story posted on Tuesday evening).
Robert Love, an IDOS member who has photographed the competition for years, supplied the photos for my Deseret News story and for this blog. Thanks, Rob!  
This was the duo's first time at the World Championship — the first time a "first-time" team had ever won. Most of the contestants who were cooking in Saturday's finals had cooked in at least one or two past World Championships.
When asked the secret to their success, Matt said, "It's practice, practice, practice, every weekend for the past six months. We've probably cooked 60 loaves of our winning bread recipe, and about 40 of those cakes.  We've cooked for our friends and family, and we solicited people to cook for them if they would pay the food costs."
Winning Chocolate Four-Layer Cake. (Rob Love photo)
The investment paid off, as the two won with recipes of Hibachi Surf and Turf, Rustic Tuscan Bread, and a Chocolate Layer Cake & Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting. 
 To get a berth at the event, teams had to win an IDOS-sanctioned cook-off in their region, and then qualify in the semi-finals held Thursday and Friday evening at the ISE at the South Towne Expo Center.  
Winning Hibachi Surf and Turf   (Rob Love photo)
Each team cooks three dishes: a main dish, a bread, and a dessert, all with burning charcoal as the only heat source. There were some with regional twists, such as a Cajun-seasoned Snap' N Pork with alligator stuffing from Bill Ryan and Jeff Jimes of Bossier City, La., and prickly pear cactus used in Duck Breast with Raspberry Sauce from George and Carolyn Dumler of Tucson, Ariz. The Dumlers took 4th place overall.  
Bill and Toni Thayn took second place with Asian Inspired Beef Tenderloin Filets with Sushi, Buttery Rosemary Rolls, and Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake. Third-place winners Mark and Cindy Romrell of Kearns did Blueberry BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Honey Wheat Bread with Five Tempting Toppings, and Caramel Spice Cake.  Fifth place winners, Jason Jensen and Mike Lambert, both of Stansbury Park, served New Mexican Pork Tenderloin and Sweet Potato Tamales, Five Topping Bread, and Apricot Cheesecake. 

The International Dutch Oven Society pays homage to the black cast-iron pots with a rich history. Pioneers lugged them across the plains, and they were an integral part of cowboy chuckwagons. But the dishes cooked at the World Championships have evolved w-a-y beyond the those simple stews and johnnycakes cooked over a campfire!

The recipes for all the contestants' dishes are sold at for $15 plus shipping. Also for those who want to learn about Dutch oven cooking, there's a spring convention May 5 at the Davis County Fairgrounds in Farmington. The convention features cooking demonstrations, seminars and samplings, and you can find out how to join IDOS and locate a chapter in your neck of the woods. 

1 comment:

rfrmac said...


You just published an article in the Deseret News on Dutch oven cooking. I appreciated the article. I am a pretty good Dutch oven cook. I enjoy it and so do the people I cook for. I would in no way compete in a Dutch oven cook-off. It has become to big a thing and it has scared some people off from trying Dutch oven cooking. Dutch oven cooking is meant to be simple good cooking. It is meant to be fun. We have lost a good bit of it. That is why the IDOS annual meeting is so great. Anyone can do most of the dishes presented there and enjoy the experience.