June 15 & 16, 2012
Second Annual Dutch Oven Cook-Off
The term Dutch Oven generally is used in reference to a cast iron pot or kettle with a flat bottom having three legs to hold the oven above the coals, flat sides and a flat, flanged lid for holding coals. The versatile and portable cooking tool has been used for more than 300 years and was shipped and traded worldwide from its original manufacturer in Holland and an English firm who altered and improved the design. It became the cooking tool of choice in places as far removed as the American west and the South African coast. George Washington’s mother bequeathed several of them among her “iron kitchen furniture” to her heirs. Native Americans were also captivated by the ability of the pot to cook food literally inside the fire. In the Ozarks, the Dutch Oven became a mark of civilized living, and lifted the chore of providing meals for a family from drudgery to art. Those arts will be challenged this year for entrants, who will be asked to bring their own kettles and ingredients, as well as the preferred fuel for cooking with them. This year the seasoned masters of Ozarks Dutch Oven cookery will be asked to try their hand at desserts – made from scratch. The competition will be held at the festival’s Cooking Stage and is free to compete and free to attend. Audience members are encouraged to sample, so if you are curious about the operation and the results from this marvel of iron kitchen furniture, plan to get your seat early.