Elk, crow, snake, goose and quail were in the spotlight Tuesday night as the Richmond County agricultural cooperative held their annual Wild Game Cook-off Tuesday night at the First Presbyterian Church in Ellerbe.
“We had some really unique dishes this year,” said Tiffanee Conrad-Acuna, livestock agent with the agricultural extension office. “There was a lot of venison and rabbit dishes - a lot of catfish too.”
Conrad-Acuna estimates about 150 tasters were at the cook-off.
Sponsored by the Sandhills Rod and Gun Club, Extension and Community Association and Richmond County Cooperative Extension, 38 dishes in all were entered in the contest but only four were chosen as first place winners.
Bill Patton won the big game, small game and other mammals category with his grilled venison loin with cherry sauce.
Neal Mills beat out several other entries with his Underpass Pigeon Spuds to win the wild fowl and fish category.
Pat Allen won the wild fruits, nuts and vegetation prize with his black walnut pie.
Terry Sharpe won the most authentic category with jiffy acorn honey corn muffins.
“Let’s put it that way, that was about the only thing acorns can win” Sharpe said.
Sharpe says that acorns tend to not be very “tasty” on their own but he managed to make something of it with the muffin dish.
“If I can come up with something different next year, then yeah, I’ll try it again,” Sharpe said about entering for the next cook-off.
Abby Marcus and Emma Marcus entered in the youth category with sassafras wild blackberry ice cream and silver buck burgers.
The leftovers were later served at the tasting party for attendees to try out and decide which ones they liked the best.
“It went very well,” Conrad-Acuna said. “It all worked out and we had a good time.”
Bill Faust of Warsaw presented a program on how to cook with wild foods before the tasting.
Additionally, cookbooks of Wild Game Cook-Off recipes from 1999-2008 were sold at the door and are still available from the Rod and Gun Club of Richmond County.
“I’d like to encourage everyone to come out and enter their dishes for next year’s contest,” Conrad-Acuna said.
For more information, or how to enter in next year’s event, call Tiffanee Conrad-Acuna at 997-8255.
Staff writer Bryan Stewart can be reached at 997-3111 ext. 15 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.