Breckenridge Texan

City hosts inaugural Homemade Beans and Cornbread contest

City hosts inaugural Homemade Beans and Cornbread contest
October 22
17:58 2018

Pots of beans and platters of cornbread were served up Saturday as the City of Breckenridge hosted the inaugural Homemade Beans and Cornbread contest at the October Breck Trade Days event.

A small crowd attended the event that had eight contestants: Pamela Wright; Wesley Wright; Virginia Martin; the team of Diana Cook, Darrell Smith, and Darrell Smith Jr.; Andy McCuistion; Lisa Duggan; Calvin Chaney; and Leslie Harrison.

The judges taste samples of the beans and cornbread entries in Saturday’s contest. (Photo by Samantha Andis/Breckenridge Texan)

There were five award categories: Beans, Cornbread and Booth Decorations, voted on by the six judges; and the People’s Choice for Beans and for Cornbread. The judges for the contest were Donna Hill, Yuri Huntington, Eric Brennan, Jenny Holt, Martha Goad and Genoa Goad. Hill and Goad also were judges in the Salsa and Guacamole contest held earlier this year.

The contest initially resulted in two ties, which were decided by coin toss. In the Cornbread category, the judges had a tie vote between Martin and Chaney, and in the People’s Choice on the beans, Harrison and Chaney tied.

The final results were:

Judges’ Choice for first place
Beans – Diana Cook
Cornbread – Calvin Chaney
Booth Decoration – Leslie Harrison

People’s Choice for first place
Beans – Calvin Chaney
Cornbread – Pamela Wright

Leslie Harrison won the Best Booth Decorations award in Saturday’s Beans and Cornbread contest. (Photo by Samantha Andis/Breckenridge Texan)

The judge’s choice winners each received $50 cash prize, and the People’s Choice winners each received an apron.

Breckenridge City Manager Andy McCuistion and Public Services Director Stacy Harrison both played a part in bringing the contest together. McCuistion did most of the organizing in advance, and Harrison ran the event on Saturday.

Harrison said they consider the contest a success and are looking forward to doing it again next year.

The contests, including the Salsa and Guacamole contest, the Beans and Cornbread cook-off and the upcoming chili cook-off, were created to help drive traffic to the monthly Breck Trade Days events,  McCuistion said, adding that he hopes to put on contests like that at least six times a year.

The next contest will be the second annual chili cook-off in December. McCuistion and Harrison said they want to improve the contest by drawing in a larger participating crowd. Harrison pointed out that there is no age limit to enter, and McCuistion said, “We’d love to see some young kids get involved.”

Each of the contestants in Saturday’s Beans and Cornbread contest prepared their entries in their own way.  Some used recipes that had been passed down through the family, others created their recipes through experiment, and some didn’t follow a set recipe. Pamela Wright’s cornbread recipe is one she and her husband made together; it even included pulled pork. Andy McCuistion’s bean recipe varies every time he makes it, he says.

Most of the contestants started preparing for the contest on Friday, cooking the cornbread Friday night and soaking and/or cooking the beans on Friday, as well.

Pamela and Wesley Wright

The  Wrights entered the contest separately but occupied the same booth. Pamela entered with her stuffed cornbread, and Wesley entered with his beans. The couple’s booth was decorated with flowers, an apple rose, small pumpkins and other small fall-related items all set upon a handmade quilt. They bought the flowers for the booth, but they gathered everything else from their home. Pamela made the apple rose herself and said it took her about 30 minutes to create. The quilt was one that a friend’s mother made.

Andy McCuistion

Breckenridge City Manager Andy McCuistion stirs his entry for the Beans and Cornbread contest. (Photo by Samantha Andis/Breckenridge Texan)

Andy McCuistion said he does not have a set recipe for either his beans or his cornbread. Whatever he felt should go in, went in. The contest was only his second time to make cornbread, he said.

Cook-Smith Team

Diane Cook, Darrell Smith and Darrell Smith Jr. presented Triple D’s Dastardly Cornbread and Momma’s Marvelous Beans. The cornbread they made was Cook’s own recipe. Their booth was decorated with a colorful quilt.

Calvin Chaney

The Breckenridge Fire Chief used his father’s recipe for his beans, which has been in his family for 40 years. Chaney said he let the beans soak overnight and then cook for four hours. He called his beans “Booter Beans,” and his cornbread was called “Cast Iron Creation.”

Virginia Martin

Virginia Martin used a family recipe for her beans. “My grandmother gave it to me,” she said, explaining that she made them for the first time about 15 or 20 years ago. She started cooking them overnight before bringing them to the Trade Barn for the contest. Her booth was simply decorated with a plaid blanket.

Lisa Duggan

Lisa Duggan’s bean recipe has been in her family for a long time. They take about 4-6 hours to cook. “My husband loves beans,” she said. She makes them often for him. Ironically, Duggan herself actually is not a huge fan of beans. Her booth was decorated with fall items, including pumpkins and a black tablecloth.

Leslie Harrison

Leslie Harrison said she used the same recipe for her beans that she has always used, and she made okra cornbread. “The cornbread came from my mother,” she said. “I learned a lot of different tricks from her.” Harrison’s cornbread was wheat-free. Her booth consisted of a hutch and a table, as well as a lot of items from her home, such as a cactus from her porch and a picture she keeps on her Hoosier cabinet. Her table was adorned with a white crochet tablecloth and some flowers.

Contestants in the City of Breckenridge’s inaugural Beans and Cornbread contest were, from left, Darrell Smith Jr., Darrell Smith, Diana Cook, Leslie Harrison, Virginia Martin, Pamela Wright, Lisa Duggan, Calvin Chaney, Wesley Wright and Andy McCuistion. (Photo by Samantha Andis/Breckenridge Texan)

Story by Samantha Andis/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Winners in the Beans and Cornbread contest on Saturday were, from left, Diana Cook, Beans, judges’ choice; Leslie Harrison, Booth Decorations; Calvin Chaney, Cornbread, judges’ choice, and People’s Choice for Beans; and, Pamela Wright, People’s Choice for Cornbread. (Photo by Samantha Andis/Breckenridge Texan)


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