Garlic Fest Call: Champions of Charity Wanted

The famous food fest is asking first responders and military professionals to compete in a fundraising cook-off.

CREATIVE COOK-OFFS... are one of the flavorful, typically savory centerpieces of the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival, which will again bring the heat and yum over the final weekend in July. After all, cookbooks and time-tested recipes have long-been associated with the appetizing happening, which is marking four decades in 2018. But it isn't just restaurant-based chefs who head to the main stage, spatula and pan in hand, to show off their garlicky stuff, nor the home cooks who spend months recreating the same dish to make sure it is piquantly perfect. There are others who step up to the stoves and bowls, and the meals they make are also usually of the astoundingly delish variety. They're our first responders and those who serve in our military. The Gilroy Garlic Festival likes to honor those brave women and men each year, and weave in some culinary creativity, fun, and fundraising into the process, too. Where's this all leading? The word is out that the July 27-29 event will again include a cooking showdown called...

CHAMPIONS OF CHARITY, and those champions should sign up soon. This means that if you're a military professional or first responder, and you'd like to put together a competing team, this is the time to do so. The three-round cooking challenge, which is entering its third year at the fest, will happen on Friday, July 27, when "(t)eams will compete... to win $3,000 for a charity of their choice." The teams of two — there will be four in all — "... will be selected to compete in three elimination rounds including Appetizer, Entrée, and Dessert." Judges will make their assessments based on a few things, including the all-important "use of garlic." Think you and a buddy can take this on? It's open to non-pro chefs, and there are a few other asterisks to consider, so read all. But a major one? Deadline to enter is coming right up, in May, so best get to dreaming of that big cooking stage, in Gilroy, and raising money for a charity that's dear to you and a friend.

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