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In this engrossing look at the competitive cooking circuit, journalist Sutherland follows the trail of competitions and a small group of regular participants. These often fanatical competitors, complete with their own Web sites and chat rooms, square off against the amateur one-time-only contenders at local and national levels across the country. With a healthy dose of humor, Sutherland conveys the inside stories and nail-biting moments as the regulars face off. From developing recipes to matching serving wear to outfits, the bravado of the male players and the disasters and pitfalls that can ensue for both regular and amateur alike, this work takes a long, thorough look at this American phenomenon. From chili contests that are more like frat parties to the National Chicken and National Beef competitions, Sutherland crisscrosses the country and along the way conveys her growing enthusiasm for and fascination with why one recipe or dish wins and another loses. She intersperses winning recipes with the account of her own growing delight, which leads her to enter a competition herself. Doing for cookoffs what Anthony Bourdain did for the restaurant business with Kitchen Confidential, Sutherland delivers a wonderful portrait of a true slice of Americana that should have readers reaching for their recipe files and saying, "I can do that."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An absolute gem... Sutherland has found a cast of unforgettable characters, a madcap bunch of dreamers, entrepreneurs, and kitchen wizards. -- Michael Paterniti, author of Driving Mr. Albert --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Fun read for anyone who enjoys watching cooking competitions on TV and wonders: Could I do that?? Great "behind the scenes" stories about the ups and downs and very competitive... Read morePublished on April 30, 2010 by Food Reader
Loved the book! Well-written and informative. Prior to reading this book knew very little about the "industry", but Amy Sutherland makes it come alive. Read morePublished on April 5, 2009 by Marie Barrese
I loved the glimpse I was given into the cookoff world. I had a hard time keeping track of all the different contestants in the various cookoffs, but the author did a good job... Read morePublished on July 9, 2007 by reading mom
The author is snippy and unflattering to her subjects, but she provides valuable information for anyone who wants to try their luck in a cooking contest.Published on September 8, 2005 by neoluddites
I admit it. I am not much of a cook. I rarely ever cook, and my husband and kids are better for it. Nonetheless, I loved this book. Read morePublished on May 1, 2005 by S. B. Meritt
Cookoff: Recipe Fever in America is a delightful book, especially for readers who enjoy cookbooks and cooking magazines. Read morePublished on June 12, 2004 by Elizabeth Hendry
An otherwise interesting book is marred by the author's snippy and mostly unneccessary comments about the contestants and/or their spouses. Read morePublished on March 15, 2004 by Susan W. Shepard
What fun. This book not only examines a slice of Americana, but portrays the compelling everyday people that make this country as goofy and lovable as it is. Read morePublished on February 26, 2004
Cookoff is pretty interesting, but did anyone proofread it? If you're at all aware of correct grammar, spelling, or usage, this book will drive you nuts. Read morePublished on January 11, 2004