There will certainly be barbecue and cantaloupe pie. There will also be vegetables from the garden and always homemade pastries.
This year the LaGrange Area Men’s Cook Off will start a new tradition - naming a winner of the annual event hosted by Warren Temple United Methodist Church.
“Jarvis Shepherd came up with the idea and we’ve been doing it ever since, close to 10 years now,” said George Baker Jr., a LaGrange dentist and also a long-time participant of the men’s cooking event.
In the past, the event has been held primarily as a time for the community to have fellowship and also as a fundraiser for the church. This year, the organizers have stepped it up a little and are offering first, second and third prizes to the best dishes.
Judges for the contest are LaGrange College President Dan McAlexander, LaGrange Mayor Jeff Lukken, and pastor of New Community Church, Ricky Bolden.
About 90 invitations went out to men in the community and about 30 are expected to bring a favorite dish to the event.
“They can make any dish they want. Richard English always make the same dish - cantaloupe pie - and Ben Reed prepares nothing but pastries every year,” Baker said.
Tickets are available to the public and each ticket holder gets a taste of every dish.
“Once everyone has a sample, they continue to eat until all the food is gone,” Baker said. “No one goes home hungry.”
The event does raise money for the church. Last year, it was more than $3,000. Still, the point is to have a good time.
This year’s LaGrange Area Men’s Cook-off is at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Callaway Educational Building at LaGrange College. Tickets are available at the door and are $15 for adults and $7 for children 12 years and younger.