The Cranberry Kitchen (formerly Queen of the Kitchen) features desserts and baked goods, relishes and preserves, side dishes, entrees and beverages. And they all have one key ingredient: cranberries.
Since 1948, contestants have filled display tables with cranberry foods. Some rely on time-tested family recipes while others experiment with new flavor combos. Through the years, countless cooks have vied for the top honor in the contest, Queen of the Kitchen. The overall winner is most often a female cook, but there’s at least one gentleman on record as King of the Kitchen. The youngest Queen earned her crown at age 12. And, the 2014 Queen won with a sip, instead of a nibble, with her mulled cranberry-blackberry wine.
This year the contest was re-named to represent men and women.
Contestants of all ages may enter in any of the seven categories.
All entries must include a cranberry product and no entries can be items that are sold or marketed commercially. Categories are: appetizers, side dishes, main dishes, desserts, beverages, baked goods, and other items (e.g., condiments, relishes, preserves, spreads, sauces/salsas).
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Savory submissions in appetizer, side dish or entree categories have earned the highest judges’ reviews in recent years. Classic preserves and relishes are still staples. Decorative baked goods and desserts are also popular.
Cranberry Kitchen entries are on display at the Old Town Marketplace Farmers Market on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13 and 14. Entries are accepted from 10 a.m.-noon Friday and judging begins at 1 p.m., with ribbons awarded to cooks for each food category. The cook with the best overall entry is named the Cranberry Kitchen winner. All ages are invited to submit their entries. For further information and to register, visit https://bandon.com/cranberry-kitchen/
The overall winner will be announced at halftime at the Cranberry Bowl on Friday night, and will ride in the parade Saturday morning, which starts at 10 a.m.
This year's Cranberry Kitchen sponsor is the Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center. For information about all festival events, go to bandon.com, visit the Bandon Chamber Visitor Center, 300 Second St. in Old Town Bandon, or call 541-347-9616.