fair game

State Fair of Texas invites pandemic bakers to annual cooking contest

State Fair of Texas invites pandemic bakers to annual cooking contest

Ooh La La bakery chocolate chip cookies
Can your cookies beat the rest? Photo by Kimberly Park

The annual State Fair of Texas is back in business for 2021, with a just-released schedule of its cooking contests.

Its cooking contests — featuring categories such as pies, cakes, breads, and cookies — are a staple that date back to the Fair's homey roots but also connect to a new generation of makers and bakers.

They host 14 contests in the Creative Arts Building throughout the Fair's 24-day run, with competitors vying for State Fair ribbons.

Pre-registration is now available online at BigTex.com/CreativeArts, where you can also download the 2021 Cooking Contest handbook.

Pre-registration is not required, but it is requested. Contestants can register the day of the contest online or when they turn in their entries. But if you're a slacker, blank entry forms are available on-site the day of the competitions.

The cooking contests are part of the Fair's creative arts competitions, that include virtual creative arts and arts & crafts contests. Due to health and safety related to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Big Tex BBQ & Chili Challenge and the cook-offs will not be held in 2021.

In addition to the cooking contests, the Best of Show Cookbook, featuring prize-winning recipes from the past 10 years, is now available for purchase online; visit BigTex.com/Cookbook.

Here's the full schedule of the 2021 State Fair of Texas Cooking Contests (some days have more than one contest):

  • Saturday, September 25: Cake Contest
  • Monday, September 27: Chocolate Contest, Speedy Dishes Contest
  • Sunday, October 3: Texas Pecan Challenge
  • Monday, October 4: Farm-to-Fork Contest, Honey Contest, Black Jar/Polished Jar Honey Contest
  • Friday, October 8: Bread Contest
  • Sunday, October 10: Pie Contest
  • Tuesday, October 12: Cookie Contest
  • Thursday, October 14: Cooking with Cheese, Tex-Mex Contest
  • Saturday, October 16: Youth Cooking Contest
  • Sunday, October 17: Candy Contest

The 2021 State Fair of Texas opens on Friday, September 24, and runs through Sunday, October 17.