Attention all backyard grillers — in recognition of Umatilla County’s 150 years, a grilling contest will feature local products during the 2012 Umatilla County Fair.

“We picked food products from Umatilla County to feature in it,” said Gay Newman, fair board chairman.

The event is Wednesday, Aug. 8 at the fairgrounds, 515 W. Orchard Ave., Hermiston. At least one team member must attend the mandatory cook’s meeting at 10:30 a.m. at the Coca Cola Stage area. To be eligible for the event, teams must submit a registration form by Friday. Grilling teams can enter at

“It’s really a fun thing,” said Fair Manager Peggy Clough. “People always have a good time with the cooking contests.”

Products to be used during the competition will be issued during the cook’s meeting. Newman said there will be enough room and products for 16-20 teams.

The contest will feature potatoes, sponsored by the Blue Mountain Potato Growers and Oregon Potato Commission; onions, sponsored by River Point Farms; and beef, sponsored by Cenex Harvest States and the Umatilla County Cattlemen’s Association. The top three grillers in each category will win $300, $200 and $100, respectively. In addition, the overall grand prize is a Traeger barbecue.

Along with bragging rights and prizes, the top grillers will have their recipes featured in publications affiliated with each of the sponsoring food organizations.

“They want to publish the recipes, so there will be some recognition for those winning,” Newman said.

Judging for the contest features a “blind” system, where teams are issued a number during the cook’s meeting. Judges will include local folks in the restaurant industry or those affiliated with barbecuing or catering, Newman said. In addition to taste, Newman said, participants will be judged on the their entry’s presentation.

Barbecue methods can include gas, charcoal, pellet or wood. However, no open fires or barrel fires are allowed.

Teams will submit the recipe along with the food at the designated turn-in times, which are staggered according to the entry. Onions are due at 1:30 p.m., potatoes at 2 p.m. and meat at 2:45 p.m. The award presentation is planned for 3:30 p.m.

For more information, contact 541-6121 or


Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at or 541-564-4539.

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