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The Great Garlic Cook-off is one of the most well-known cooking contests in the country.
Starting in December of each year, the Gilroy Garlic Festival puts out a call across the United States and Canada for the best garlic recipes. Hundreds of amateur chefs respond with delicious sounding recipes that run the gamut from soups to desserts and from every type of cuisine.
Recent winners have included Warm Weather Watermelon Crabmeat Kissed South Seas Soup; Spicy Garlic Butter Cookies with Garlic Goat Cheese and Honey, Walnut-Garlic Tart with Garlic-Infused Cream and Chili Syrup; Chai Steeped Chicken Breasts with Oriental Aioli; and Basil and Garlic-Stuffed Sea Scallops wrapped in Prosciutto and served with a Spicy Citrus Beurre Blanc.
The most delicious-sounding recipes, approximately 50, are forwarded to a professional food consultant who makes the final selection of the eight recipes. The consultant prepares each recipe to ensure correct measurements and use of ingredients. These finalists' recipes are those considered to make the most interesting and exciting contest.
The finalists come to Gilroy to prepare their recipes on the Saturday of the festival in front of the public. By 12:15, celebrity judges pick their favorites. The winner of the Great Garlic Cook-Off is appropriately honored with a crown of garlic and goes home $1,000 richer. Second place is awarded $750; third, $500. The other finalists are given $100.00 each.
For garlic tips and new recipes, the Great Garlic Cook-Off Stage is the place you want to be!