Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

Grower/Chef Competition Adds to Celebrate Plover Festivities

For many years, thousands of people have come to the “Celebrate Plover” event the last Saturday in July to do just that: celebrate Plover and all the positive qualities this community offers! This year at the event on Saturday, July 28, there will be a bit of a twist to highlight Wisconsin’s agricultural community, and specifically, Wisconsin potato growers!

This “twist” is that several Wisconsin potato growers are each pairing up with a chef from various local restaurants to form a team and cook potato-centric dishes in a competition. The goal of this event is to create and encourage relationships between foodservice professionals and Wisconsin growers while also showcasing local restaurants and Wisconsin growers to consumers and encouraging everyone to “Buy Local and Buy Wisconsin.”

Each round will be timed as the teams have to make an appetizer, main dish and dessert, and then present their dishes to a panel of 3 judges.

A team will be eliminated after each round as the remaining teams compete and whittle down to the runner up vs. the grand prize winning team. While the dishes must be potato-centric and use specific featured varieties (3 russets, 3 reds and 3 golds), they can include other vegetables and proteins as the teams choose. They also should include a mystery ingredient (1 for each round) that will be communicated the day of the competition. Additionally, dishes should focus (and will be judged) on creativity, taste, saleability (i.e. would you order this on a menu?) and appearance.

Each team will have a Big Green Egg Grill (provided by Placeway Pools, Spas and Patio in Plover) to use as well as an open-flame burner. Okray Family Farms of Plover and Alsum Farms and Produce of Friesland are providing the potatoes.

The day begins with a tasting panel at 9am with the competition beginning at 10. The competition will be completed by early afternoon and will be edited into a TV episode that will air on Mad Dog and Merrill’s “Midwest Grill’n” TV show at a later date. And with Mad Dog and Merrill as the Masters of Ceremonies, this event is sure to draw a crowd.

So make time in your day on Saturday, July 28th to visit Celebrate Plover in Lake Pacawa Park (1831 Maple Drive) and witness the very first Wisconsin Potatoes Grower/Chef Competition!

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