Pizza Recipe Wins The 2019 Lodge National Cornbread Cook-off
There was a familiar face among the ten finalists competing in the Lodge® National Cornbread Cook-off on Saturday, April 27.
Lidia Haddadian, who placed second in last year’s competition, returned to the Cook-off Stage and wowed the judges with her “Smoky Cajun-Style Shrimp ’n Bacon Pizza with Crispy Cornbread Crust”. The recipe earned her the grand prize of Cook-off Champion at the 23rd annual National Cornbread Festival.
Along with bragging rights, Haddadian received a $5,000 cash prize and a 30-inch stainless steel gas range — a $3,250 value — from FiveStar® Professional Cooking Equipment, a division of Brown® Stove Works.
Shauna Havey from Roy, Utah, took home the second place prize of $1,500 with her recipe of “Korean BBQ Pork Cornbread Totchos”, and Chelsea Hanson from Nashville, Tenn., placed third with her “Nashville Hot Chicken and Cornbread Waffles” for the $1,000 prize.
Haddadian’s championship win follows her second-place win in the 2018 Cook-off with her recipe of “Cheesy Chorizo Tamale Pie With Cilantro-Lime Crema”.
“I’m honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to compete in the Lodge National Cornbread Cook-off for two years in a row! Winning this year was a great boost in my culinary journey,” said Haddadian. “I return to Los Angeles with fond memories of an amazingly friendly community, exceptional Lodge Cast Iron products and a winning recipe featuring Martha White cornbread mix.”
In the Lodge National Cornbread Cook-off, contestants must prepare a main dish or entrée that uses one cup of Martha White® corn meal, fixed in a piece of Lodge cast iron cookware. The Cook-off is conducted in an Iron Chef format, with one continuous competition that takes place in front of a live audience and the judges.
Contestants this year came from all across the country, and many featured seafood elements in their dishes in a way that highlighted cuisine found in their hometowns.
Out of the seven Cook-off judges in attendance, several were not only first-time judges but also first-time attendees of the National Cornbread Festival. The judges’ response throughout the competition was one of excitement.
“In addition to being a judge for the amateur cook-off for the first time, this was also my first year attending the festival, so it was a special experience for me,” said Nancy Meeks, editorial director for Cooking with Paula Deen magazine and editor of Southern Cast Iron magazine. “I was so impressed with the level of skill that each cook displayed, and really appreciated that they all used a wide range of cast iron cookware for their dishes.”
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