Cathedral Gorge saw around 200 visitors last weekend for the tenth annual Dutch oven cook off. This year, however, the annual event was slated as an official Nevada 150 celebration, and the state park hosted the grand finale for the series of Dutch oven competitions the state’s been having.

Special guest judges were present, including Kay Scherer, Deputy Director of the Department of Conservation and National Resources, Pam Robinson, Chief of Staff for Lt. Governor Brian Krolicki. Mayor of Caliente, Stana Hurlburt, along with District Attorney Daniel Hooge, were special guest judges as well.

Dawn Andone, Park Interpreter for Cathedral Gorge State Park, said there were 17 cooks with 36 dishes for tasting, an increase from the 10 cooks and 27 dishes created last year.

Andone said, “Everyone love the Gorge. Many of them said they would be back to camp and would come to the cook off again next year.” She said everyone had a great time, “even with the wind, rain and thunder.”
Many of the contestants came from Las Vegas, however one group, the Killer Bees, journeyed from Reno for the contest.

For the main dish winners, Margaret Ann Garber took first place with chicken chile rellenos. Major Mastin took home second with elk “stew-lash.” Alice Loeffler placed third with kicking creamy chicken stew.

For the side dishes, Killer Bees came out on top with their smoky bacon mac and cheese. Team Chris and Bruce came in second with their down-home fresh green beans and red potatoes. Matt Cameron came in third with Dutch oven potatoes.

Bread was another dish entry. Killer Bees grabbed first place with their cinnamon rolls. Rick Beach came in second with corn bread. Team Peterson came in third with Pete’s rolls.

In the dessert category, Bobby and Becky Cason came in first with their German chocolate cake, followed by team Chris and Bruce with luscious banana upside down cake. Team Peterson came in third with peach raspberry cobbler.

A special category was created to celebrate Nevada’s 150th anniversary, the 1860s. To represent the era, team Chris and Bruce placed first with their mock pecan pie. Kathleen LeBlanc placed second with her blueberry coffee cheese cake.

The people’s choice award went to Paul Dicianno, with stuffed pepper stew.

The State Parks in the county are gearing up for the annual Park to Park pedal, slated for the second Saturday of October. This year, riders will be biking Oct. 11.