Cookoff: Recipe Fever inAmerica is an anecdotal and entertaining look at the amazingly extensive subculture of cooking contests in America. Such contests range in importance from Spam contests at county fairs to the granddaddy of them all, the Pillsbury Bake-Off in San Francisco, where the grand prize is a cool million. In between are contests local and national, sponsored by agricultural groups, corporations, and neighborhoods. Competing in these contests are not only casual entrants, but “contesters”—mostly women—for whom the recipe contest is a way of life.
Journalist Amy Sutherland follows a small group of such contesters through a year on the contest circuit, beginning with the National Chicken Cook-off and culminating in the Pillsbury Bake-Off. Along the way, we’ll be introduced to well-known cook-off luminaries as well as to some of the most bizarre cooks, and the recipes concocted for their national contests.
Amy Sutherland is the author of What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage; Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched; and Cookoff. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern… More about Amy Sutherland