Saturday, July 28, 2018
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.
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.