Garlic Cook-off: Time for Young Chefs to Enter

Have a kid who knows her way around cloves? Set your sights on Gilroy this summer (but first, May 1).

SUGAR, MILK, SWEETS? What eats do you think of when you think about what children love best? Do your thoughts go to milder dishes, the sort of cream-based puddings and easy-to-digest cereals that seem just right for a youngster? You might picture such pablum, if lore, storybooks, and advertising have played a role in shaping this particular opinion for you. But, then again, you may know plenty of kids who happen to exhibit adventurous palates and the wish to sample all sorts of interesting foods. And one of those foods that makes it into more kid-popular cuisines than we probably realize?

GARLIC: After all, youngsters often show an affinity for pizza and pasta, two dishes regularly heaped with the fiery bulb. So it shouldn't be a surprise when a young chef begins to add grated garlic to her own at-home cooking experiments. Are you the parent of such an aspiring kitchen artist? Then consider asking your toque-sporting tot if they'd like to compete in the 2019 Garlic Chef Jr. Contest at the world-famous Gilroy Garlic Contest. For sure, adult cooks go spatula-to-spatula in their own competition, but there's a newer category for kids. And, for sure, again, there's a great top prize: "The winner will be presented with a gift valued at $500." That's cool, as cool as garlic is hot.

IS YOUR YOUNG COOK... ready to show off those garlic-based skills? Are they between the ages of 9 and 18? The entry deadline for your kid's recipe is May 1, which is a few months ahead of the July 26-28 festival. The Jr. Contest will happen on July 26, do note. And note also that your young chef's recipe should contain "at least six cloves of garlic." And one more note to note? Eight young chefs will be selected to compete at the fest. There are some other good asterisks to keep in mind, as your talented kid chef begins their savory journey to Gilroy greatness, so read all. By the by, the contest first happened in 2018, and proved to be quite the success. And why not? For many garlic fans, the commitment to the clove starts early in life, thanks to a perfect pasta bowl or memorable slice of pepperoni pizza pie. 

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