N.C. State Fair announces Home Chef Challenge

Published 4:19 pm Monday, September 12, 2022

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The N.C. State Fair is looking for home chefs to spice up the competitions at the fair with 11 days of cooking challenges. Included are loaded nachos, ultimate brownies, spirited pies, quirky cobbler, a make-ahead breakfast challenge, chili cook-off, grain bowls, sirloin salad, fair food featuring bacon and chicken casserole.

“Like the N.C. State Fair, cooking is a way to bring people together,” said John Buettner, competitive exhibits director. “I know that the competitions offered this year will bring out the creative side of our home chefs and I can’t wait to see the results. In addition to bragging rights, the winning recipe for each challenge brings home a prize of $500.” Recipes will be judged on appearance, taste and creativity.

A complete list of Home Chef Challenges is listed below. Deadline to enter is Oct. 3. The Home Chef Challenge will be held in the North Lobby of Dorton Arena. Contestants will receive two gate tickets and a parking pass to bring their entry to the fair.

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More information is online at: ncstatefair.org/2022/Competitions/Entering/HomeChefChallenge.htm.

Loaded Nachos Challenge

presented by NC State Wolfpack Basketball

Thursday, Oct. 13 at 4 p.m.

Dream up an ultimate loaded nachos recipe that will wow the judges.

Ultimate Brownie Showdown

presented by Humana

Friday, Oct. 14 at 10 a.m.

Dense and fudgy or light and fluffy? Extra fillings or simply classic? Our judges will try them all.

Spirited Pie Challenge

presented by The Distillers Association of North Carolina

Saturday, Oct. 15 at 10 a.m.

Fill them with your best fruit, chocolate, nuts and more – but be sure to add the feature ingredient of a spirit made in North Carolina. Check out the competition guidelines for a list of 41 N.C. craft spirits acceptable for the challenge.

Great Bowls of Fire Chili Cook-Off

Sunday, Oct. 16 at 2 p.m.

Beans or no beans? It’s a debate for the ages. Everyone has the best chili recipe and today’s the day to put yours to the test.

Morning Mayhem Buster: Make-Ahead Breakfast Challenge

presented by Superior Sleep Experience

Monday, Oct. 17 at 10 a.m.

Everyone could use a little more time in the morning. Bring us your best make-ahead breakfast to make that vision a reality. It could be a casserole, muffins, breakfast burritos, overnight oats, etc.

Brain Food Healthy Grain Bowl Challenge

Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 11 a.m.

The N.C. State Fair’s first super food challenge. Start with a healthy whole grain base and start topping to build a delicious protein-packed meal.

Tip Top Sirloin Salad Challenge

Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m.

Make a steak salad that’s meal worthy, don’t forget a dressing that will put your creation together!

Bacontastic Fair Food Challenge

presented by the North Carolina Pork Council

Thursday, Oct. 20 at 10 a.m.

This competition offers a Junior and Adult Division with two $500 first place prizes. It’s for home chefs that might have dreamed of their own fair booth and know just what fair food they’d offer. Just be sure to add bacon!

Not Your Mama’s Chicken Casserole Challenge

presented by House of Raeford

Friday, Oct. 21 at 10 a.m.

Everyone has that chicken casserole recipe that’s been passed down for generations – that’s not what this competition is about. Put a new spin on an old favorite and add a twist that excites the judges.

Duke Cancer Care in Wake County Celebrates Cancer Warriors Challenge 

presented by Duke Raleigh Hospital

Saturday, Oct. 22 at 10 a.m.

This competition is heart-led. Honor or recognize someone you know who has experienced cancer through your appetizer, main dish or dessert. Story matters, so be sure to share your inspiration along with the recipe.

Quirky Cobbler Challenge

Sunday, Oct. 23 at 10 a.m.

Fall calls for cobbler and sonker. Show the judges what you’ve got in this competition looking for the best sweet and savory, or sweet and more sweet, cobbler.

The 2022 N.C. State Fair is slated for Oct. 13-23 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. The fair offers an experience unique to North Carolina for all who attend, and is an unparalleled value with free entertainment, thrilling rides and games, thousands of animals, endless family activities, competitions, vendors and creative deep-fried delights. For more information, visit www.ncstatefair.org.