Great Garlic Cook-Off

Great Garlic Cook-Off Contestants

Saturday, July 29, 2017 - 10:00 am

The Great Garlic Cook-Off is one of the most well-known cooking contests in the country. Beginning in September, the Gilroy Garlic Festival puts out a call across the United States and Canada for the best garlic recipes. Hundreds of amateur chefs respond with delicious sounding recipes that run the gamut from soups to desserts and from every type of cuisine. Recent winners have included Garlic Goat Cheese Bacon Soufflé with Creamy Garlic Mustard Sauce; Sarsaparilla Glazed Wild West Burgers and Southwest Sweet Potatoes; and Crispy Pork Belly with Caramelized Onion and Fig Agrodolce and Creamy Polenta.


Bigger - Better - Bolder

MasterChef Season 7 winner Shaun O'Neale will be co-emcee with Wendy Brodie for this year's Great Garlic Cook-Off—and will perform his own demonstration on the Cook-Off Stage following the competition.

The most delicious-sounding recipes, approximately 50, are forwarded to a professional food consultant who makes the final selection of the eight recipes. The consultant prepares each recipe to ensure correct measurements and use of ingredients. These finalists' recipes are those considered to make the most interesting and exciting contest.

The finalists come to Gilroy to prepare their recipes on the Saturday of the festival in front of the public and a panel of celebrity judges. Winners are announced at 2:00 pm. The winner of the Great Garlic Cook-Off is appropriately honored with a crown of garlic and the grand prize of $5,000. Second place is awarded $2,500; third place, $1,000. The other finalists are given $100 each.

The 2017 Great Garlic Cook-Off is presented by South County Jeep Chrysler Dodge Ram.

2017 contestants and recipes are:

  • Kadija Bridgewater (Boca Raton, FL)
    Spicy Island Barbeque Pork, Garlic Fries and Cilantro-Garlic Sauce
  • Betty Hass (Cupertino, CA)
    Hazelnut-Crusted Garlic Cheesecake with Orange-Hazelnut Syrup
  • Shauna Havey (Roy, UT)
    Roasted Garlic Raspberry Brown Betty with Garlic Black Pepper Gelato
  • Mary Hawkes (Prescott, AZ)
    Shanghai Sliders with Asian Pickled Garlic and Ponzu Peanut Slaw
  • Lisa Keys (Kennett Square, PA)
    Garlic-Nut Biscotti with Whipped Feta & Blistered Tomatoes
  • Naylet LaRochelle (Miami, FL)
    Smoky Salsa Roja Shrimp and Roasted Garlic Cotija Grits
  • Renata Stanko (Lebanon, OR)
    Lamb T-Bones with Cranberry Garlic Salsa, Lemon Biscuits and Salad
  • Priscilla Yee (Concord, CA)
    Sweet-Savory Garlic Cornbread Berry Shortcakes with Garlic Thyme Brittle

2017 Judges:

  • Jeff Raby (Chef/Owner, Fire4Hire Catering)
  • Jason Gronlund (Executive Chef, three-time past Garlic Showdown winner)
  • Benjamin Brown (Executive Chef, The Lodge at Pebble Beach)
  • Adam Sanchez (Chef/Owner, The Milias Restaurant)
  • Bryan Martinez (Culinary Director, Brunswick/Bowlero)