TroutFest bringing culinary edge

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

River to Table cooking competition seeking participants

Area cooks will soon grab their chef hats and lace up their aprons, as a culinary showdown is coming to Cassville.

The Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce is bringing the second Annual TroutFest to the community this fall, and the event will offer a new feature, a River to Table cooking competition.

Morgan Williams, Cassville Chamber director, said the idea for the competition was formed by her predecessor, Rachael Freeman.

“Now, we are working with Element 79, [Freeman’s media and marketing company], for this idea, which has been a collaboration of the two organizations,” Williams said. “It is a great way to incorporate Roaring River into TroutFest.”

The River to Table: Trout Cook-off competition will be during TroutFest on Sept. 18 at South Park next to the Cassville Aquatic Center.

River to Table will be hosted by the city of Cassville and the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce.

The event will begin at Roaring River the morning of TroutFest.

There, the 10 competitors chosen and the three alternates will fish for a fresh catch to use in the cooking competition.

Williams said there will be additional anglers lined up to provide fresh Roaring River fish to the competitors in case a competitor does not catch his or her own.

Once the trout have been caught, the competitors will work their way back to the TroutFest location at Cassville South Park to begin the cooking portion of the competition.

The competitors will prepare a trout entree with their fresh catch, as well as a side dish composed of mystery basket ingredients given to the competitors.

The competition will be scored in three categories, the best catch, the trout entree and the mystery basket side dish.

A first-, second- and third-place winner will be determined in each category.

Williams said there will be local celebrity guest judges, who are yet to be announced.

The TroutFest planning committee is currently accepting applications to determine the 10 competitors, as well as the three alternates. The 60-second video applications can be submitted until June 30 at 11:59 p.m.

The video submission is required to enter and must contain a description of their favorite Roaring River Memory, and why they should be picked as a competitor.

These video submissions will be judged and voted on until July 13, when the competitors will be chosen.

Each competitor will be allowed a team to work along side them in both the fishing and cooking portions of the competition.

Each team will have a unique team name and consist of a head chef and two assistants.

Teams will be required to purchase their own fishing licenses and tags the day of, bring their own fishing equipment and comply with all Roaring River fishing rules and regulations.

For the cooking competition, open fires, fire holes or dug pits will not be allowed. Electrical access will be available and competitors must provide their own equipment and supplies, aside from the mystery basket ingredients.

Williams said she is excited to see how this plays out.

“It will be great to get people from Cassville to the river and from the river back to Cassville,” she said. “We hope to bring this back every year with TroutFest and possibly make it similar to the chili cook-off, where the whole community judges.”

Due to COVID-19, there was no way to do the cooking competition last year, but Williams is confident things are moving in a good direction enough to host this cooking competition this year.

Weber and Bass Pro Shops are sponsoring this competition, and the first prize will include a Weber grill.

People can find out more about the River to Table: Trout Cook-Off Competition at the Facebook page, and submit their video application at People are also able to view and vote on the video submission at the application link.

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