The Bartholomew Dutch Oven Society has come a long way in a short period of time. After forming a little less than a year ago, the society meets faithfully the first Saturday of every month.
Now they're going a step further by hosting the Louisiana State Dutch Oven Cook-Off on Sept. 1 at Chemin-A-Haut State Park.
Park Ranger Steve Fuller, who is also the president of the BDOS, said Louisiana Dutch Oven Society President Bill Ryan gave them the okay to host the state cook-off at the park. “This started last year at Lake Bistineau,” Fuller said. “We'll host it here this time. Next time it could be here or it could be somewhere else.”
The purpose of the BDOS is to create great dishes outdoors by means of cast iron vessels. Dating back to the frontier days, Dutch ovens are believed to have been invented in the 1700s. Popular with campers, they provide an outdoor cooking experience steeped in local and American history.
One of several theories traces the name back to the early Dutch settlers of Pennsylvania. They were also used by the Louis & Clark Expedition and by the earliest settlers in Louisiana.
The themes of their dishes have ranged from wild game to breakfast, barbecue and cobblers.
“This will be a three dish cook-off, meaning it will consist of a bread, a main dish and a dessert,” Fuller said.
Teams of one or two cooks can enter the contest with a $30 entry fee per team. Winners of the cook-off will receive cash prizes with a minimum of $300 to the overall first place.
“The cash prizes could be more than $300,” Fuller said. “It will depend on how many entries we have.”
The BDOS will also be holding its regular monthly cook-out on Sept. 1. Park manager Russ Brantley said anyone is welcome to come and cook that day.
“If anyone wants to come out and cook, and not compete, they are also welcome,” he said. “Once the judges are finished, everyone's food will be served to the public.”
Cooking will be begin at 9 a.m. Anyone wanting to compete should contact Steve Fuller at 282.3020 or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To learn more about the Bartholomew Dutch Oven Society, call the park office at 283.0812.