Fifth Maryland Beef Festival brings a bovine bonanza to Westminster

June 07, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

More than 1,100 people -- and a smattering of none-too-pleased cows -- were on hand yesterday for the fifth annual Maryland Beef Festival at the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster.

The festival is a yearly celebration of all things beef, from all-beef frankfurters to all-beef patties, all-beef kebab and even some all-beef haute cuisine.

A dish called "Cowboy Grilled Angus Rib Chop with Spicy Smoked Chopolote Pepper Sauce and Barbecued Painted Pony Beans" won top honors in the "Best of Beef" cook off. It was the second year in a row that Ron Leese, executive chef at the Westminster Inn, impressed the panel of three judges enough to capture first prize.

There was no prize for Longest Name of a Recipe, or Mr. Leese might have won that, too.

Other items in the cook-off included grilled flank steak with bourbon butter sauce, grilled tenderloin chateaubriand style and roast of top round barbecue on a rotisserie.

While the chefs were busy out-grilling one another, most folks were noshing on decidedly more pedestrian fare.

"People come here because they want to eat beef," said Scott Barao, who manned one of two deliciously smoky grills at the Maryland Cattleman's Association booth. By midway through the six-hour festival, Mr. Barao estimated he had served a "couple hundred" kebab, 200 to 300 burgers and about 300 hot dogs.

"The all-beef kind," he added for clarity.

Rich Robertson, standing within earshot of a couple of Herefords, told a kebab-eating reporter why he drove from Halethorpe to the festival.

"I love beef, large servings of beef," he said. "It's got to be rare, almost mooing."

Eating wasn't the only aspect of the festival, sponsored by the cattleman's group and the Maryland Beef Council.

Educational displays were scattered on the farm museum grounds, and about a dozen heifers dined on hay and water as curious children looked on.

A Roy Rogers and Dale Evans look-alike contest interested six people.

Mount Airy resident Dale Ashwell "was an exact duplicate" of Mr. Rogers, said Dottie Freeman, the farm museum's spokeswoman.

Linda Butcher of Hampstead took the honors as the best Dale Evans in the bunch.

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