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Calling all cooks: Cass-Clay contest seeking culinary talent

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Cass-Clay Creamery is promoting their first “Cass-Clay Hometown Throwdown” recipe contest and they want as many local cooks and bakers as possible to be a part of it. The contest is open to all North Dakota and Clay County, Minn. residents

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With a history of providing at-home chefs with unparalleled dairy products to enhance their recipes, i.e. sour cream, cream cheese, butter, you name it , Cass-Clay wants to showcase North Dakota’s kitchen enthusiasts in a search for the best amateur culinary star.

Toward that purpose, from now through May 18, Cass-Clay is urging all food aficionados to search their files, hone their cooking and baking skills and submit their most innovative original recipes, featuring at least one Cass-Clay product, for the opportunity to compete in the Cass-Clay Hometown Throwdown.

Participants can enter one recipe each in varying categories -- breakfast and brunch foods, appetizers and side dishes, or desserts. Twelve finalists will ultimately be chosen to battle it out during an exciting live cook-off event.

Winners from each category will be chosen and one grand prize winner will go home with $5,000. The winners of the other two categories will receive $500. The remaining nine finalists will be awarded $100.

“For more than 75 years, Cass-Clay has provided kitchen enthusiasts with unbeatable dairy products,” said Teresa Benson, Cass-Clay spokesperson. “We are excited to announce Cass-Clay Hometown Throwdown as a way to showcase North Dakota’s home-based culinary stars in this one-of-a-kind cook-off event.”

The 12 finalists will be announced June 3, through a media blitz, and will compete in the Hometown Throwdown cook-off June 22 in Fargo panel at a location to be determined.

Cass-Clay will be providing the ingredients for the recipes, which finalists will be asked to cook in front of a panel of celebrity judges from around the state within a 30-minute time frame. The final dishes will be scored based on taste and presentation and of course the use of Cass-Clay products.

Benson said she is really excited about the first-time promotion. “Everyone loves a good homemade meal. The Hometown Throwdown is a way for cooking enthusiasts to let their culinary skills shine. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of your family’s kitchen, an expert in quick and easy meals, or a young adult just learning the ropes of a grill, it’s anyone’s game to win the $5,000. Cass-Clay is honored to be able to celebrate the North Dakotan spirit in awarding these at-home culinary stars.”

Benson said this is Cass-Clay’s third big promotion of the year. A finalist was selected in the creation of a new ice cream flavor at the Minot State Fair -- Oil Patch Prairie Praline -- which will be released to the public in May or June of this year.

They also just completed the Cass-Clay Cares Extraordinary Student Award and Scholarship program, announcing the two grand prize winners, which was created to recognize North Dakota’s outstanding K-12 students. The initiative is aimed at honoring North Dakota students who excel in academics in addition to extracurricular, volunteer and community contributions. Students from across the state were nominated and eight finalists were chosen. Ultimately, Sierra Link of Bismarck and Ashley Combs of East Grand Forks were named the two grand prize winners and were each awarded $5,000 for their schools, a $1,500 personal scholarship, and a year’s worth of Cass-Clay products.

Entries for the Hometown Throwdown will be accepted online at CassClay.com or Facebook.com/CassClayCreamery, and by mail to Cass-Clay Cook-Off Contest, PO Box 130250, St. Paul, Minn. 55113-0003. All online entries must be received by 5 p.m., May 18, 2013 and mail-in entries must be postmarked by May 18, 2013.

Cass-Clay Creamery, founded in 1934, markets milk, ice cream, dips, sour cream, cream, butter, juice, and cottage cheese. The company operates a manufacturing facility in Fargo. For more information, visit the Cass-Clay Facebook page or www.cassclay.com.

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