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August 18, 2007

Illinois Department Of Agriculture Inaugural "Breakfast On A Stick" Competition Offers Unique Dishes

SPRINGFIELD, IL –Taking the cake (or egg) for the most unique food contest at the Illinois State Fair, the inaugural “Breakfast on a Stick” competition, sponsored by the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the American Egg Board, featured 14 fairgoers pitted against one another for this year’s most outrageous breakfast dish.

The competition was split into two age categories – a 17 year old and under junior division, which featured three competitors, and a senior division, which featured 11 competitors. The submitted dishes had to include at least one egg per serving.  The rest, however, was up to the competitor.

“It’s kind of interesting to see what people come up with,” said Karen Fraase, a member of Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Marketing and Promotion, adding that the competition was a great way for the general public to be creative.

Some of the entries included: a stuffed egg; a hard-boiled egg wrapped in bacon; toast with eggs over easy in the middle; eggs, ham and cheese wrapped in a biscuit; a few egg-related kabobs, and a garlic herbed egg.
“An egg is so versatile,” said Billye Griswold, culinary department superintendent.

Consequently, the competition also promoted the beef, dairy, and pork industries, one of the perks of not only the competition but eggs in general, said Fraase.  Besides taste, judges were looking for appearance, creativity, and ease of preparation, in hopes of “taking it to the next level.”

Beverly Cutler’s recipe, which tied for first place in the senior division, will be available in the Department of Agriculture tent at next year’s state fair.

Cutler said her dish, which resembles a breakfast sandwich, was a matter of layers: first the sausage, then an egg wrapped around it, then cheese wrapped around that, and finally a biscuit. The dish was baked and came with a side of white gravy.

Cutler had been perfecting the dish for the past week, using her two kids, 15 and 16, as taste testers. Although some of the earlier tries were unsuccessful (like one attempt that was fried), her kids loved the final, award winning dish.

“It’s on a stick, how much better can it get?” Cutler said of her dish.
Still, she was surprised when her number was called.

“I had to tell her it was her number,” her husband, Jim, said. “We expected to pick up our tray and leave” after the competition.

Anthony Kara’s dish, which also tied for first place, was a kabob: egg, sausage, and cheese wrapped around a thin tortilla with a strip of bacon wrapped around it. Fraase said she is going to try to market Kara’s dish, to a local restaurant.

 Rachael Eden, who took home first place in the junior division, presented a Chinese dish, “Wonton Eggs.” Her dish was a combination of curry spice, snap peas, bean sprouts, eggs, and basil. Her dish also had a side of peanut sauce. Eden said she had been experimenting with her dish and perfected it the night before.

 Eden had entered egg contests at the state fair before but this was obviously her first on a stick. She does a lot of Asian cooking and decided to enter this egg contest because it presented an “interesting challenge.”

 “It took quite a bit of thought to come up with something that would hold up on a stick,” she said.

Recipes will be placed on the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s website with accompanying pictures. All of the winning dishes are also on display in the Hobbies, Arts, and Crafts Building.

First place winners received $75, second place took home $50, and third place was rewarded $25. All winners received an omelet kit, featuring a 10 inch cooking pan, an apron, a cooler bag, two coffee mugs and assorted cooking supplies.

Results are as follows:

Senior division:
1st (tie) - Sensational Sunrise Dippers
Beverly Cutler, Springfield, IL
1st (tie) – Bacon Wrapped Savory Crape Egg on a Stick
 Anthony Karas, Springfield, IL
3rd – Italian Kickin’ Breakfast Pops
 Diana Wara, Washington, IL

Junior division:
1st – Wonton Eggs
 Rachael McMullin, Springfield, IL
2nd – Southern Eggs
 Tim Carter, Lincoln, IL
3rd – Meat Lover’s Eggs
 David Carter, Lincoln, IL


Ages 2 and under: Katie Tochill – Leroy
Ages 3 and 4: Erin Barntreger – Auburn
Ages 5 and 6: Taylor Powell – Lovington
Ages 7 and 8: Kirian Grebner-Weakley – Pekin
Ages 9 and 10: Alexandre Hemberger – Auburn
Ages 11and 12: Deni Smith – Taylorville
Ages 13-16: Madison Kelley – Springfield (overall winner)
Ages 17 and up: Heidi Woeller – Rockford


Girls Ages 5-7: Lean Daniels – Cantral
Girls Ages 8-10: Paige Ulrich – Springfield
Girls Ages 11-12: Summer Robbins – Hillsboro
Boys Ages 5-7: Logan Daniels – Cantrall
Boys Ages 8-10: Dalton Tefteller – Hillsboro
Boys Ages 11 and 12: Domic Sinclair – Petersburg
Teens: Jamie Janay Baily – Madison
Tin Grin: Sam Funderburg – Springfield


Prettiest Diaper

Auralia Stone – Riverton
Marco Mulder – Springfield
Kylie Knudson – Springfield

Craziest Diaper

Gabi Daniels – Macomb
R.J. Wehmhoff – Chatham
Talon Behl – Springfield


1. Aaron Cisna – Springfield, 8 months old
2. Wyatt Boehler – Springfield, 11 months old
3. Taylor Keirs – Virden, 10 and a half months old
4. Kylie Knudson – Springfield, 10 months old
5. Heather Godsil – Greenville, 11 months old

Group Vocals: Haley, Shawn, Eric, Rebekah – Latham
Male Vocal Solo: Trevor May – Dundas
Talent (12 and under male): Taylor Lykins – Mahomet
Female Vocal Talent (13-18): Sarah Boline – Decatur
Talent (12 and under female): Marlie Mulder – Springfield
Instrumental/Keyboard (13-18): Nicholas WanMeter – Sherman
Group Dance: Sparrow – Springfield
Dance Solo (13-18): Alexis Foster – Little York
Dance Solo (12 and under): Kaitlyn Carter – Sherman


Fiddle 16 and under: Margaret Danaher
Fiddle 17-59: Robert Bowlin
Fiddle 60+: Larry Myers
Banjo 16 and under: Justin Robbins
Banjo 17-59: Doug Knecht
Banjo 60+: Chuck Perkins


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