Close race in annual beef cook-off


This year's beef cook-off for high school family and consumer science students resulted in a first-ever tiebreaker for second place.

Jasper High School came away with the senior division (grades 10-12) win in the 2019 Walker County Cattlemen's Association Beef Cook-off. 

Cordova and Dora high schools tied for second, but Cordova ultimately won second place in a tiebreaker. Dora then placed third, with Curry High School placing fourth.

Dora High won the junior division (ninth-grade). 

"It was very close. Two points separated the tie of second with the winner. That's impressive," WCCA secretary Grant Nichols said. "That should say something about the caliber of the contest as a whole."

A variety of beef dishes were presented to the judges, including beef tacos, beef stir-fry, taco salad, Korean beef, and the winning senior division dish, a beef stuffed pepper.

Beef dishes cooked Tuesday were anonymously served to the judges and were critiqued based on flavor intensity, appearance and overall taste.   

Walker County Center of Technology Director Chris McCullar, Walker County Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Dennis Willingham, and Jasper City Schools bookkeeper Lindsey Moore served as judges.  

"Our students never surprise me. I expect them to do well, but sometimes, even I get blown away by 15- through 18-year-olds preparing these meals," Nichols said.

Students who prepared the winning dishes will advance to the state beef cook-off, hosted by the Alabama Cattlemen's Association in April 2020. 

Tuesday's competition was held at Jasper High School by culinary instructor Marulynn Lockett, and Nichols expressed his gratitude to the school for hosting the beef cook-off for the second year in a row.