Marie McAden



Catfish contest to launch Camper Cookoff Series

Posted 2/2/2014 4:04:00 PM

Time to start working on your best catfish recipes. The inaugural Catfish Cookoff takes place March 14-15 at Santee State Park and the competition promises to be fierce.

With the park located right on Lake Marion — known for its abundant population of large catfish — you won’t have to go far to pick up the seafood special.

As many as 25 chefs will have the opportunity to compete for prizes and bragging rights to the best catfish dish. To participate, you just have to book a campsite at the park for a minimum of two nights.

How you cook up your catfish is up to you. Grill ’em over an open fire, steam ’em in hot coals, fry ’em up on a camp stove. The only requirement is that your dish feature some variety of catfish.

If you fancy yourself more of a catfish connoisseur than cook, you can sign up to judge the competition. The first 50 people to register for a two-night minimum campsite will get to vote on the winners. Only one camper from each campsite can participate in the tasting.

Competing cooks will need to provide a minimum of 50 individual sample portions to distribute to the judges.

To register, call the park office at (803) 854-2408. Be sure to stipulate whether you wish to participate as a cook or judge. Registrations are being accepted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Be aware: you can’t sign up online or by calling the toll-free campsite registration number.

The Catfish Cookoff is part of the new South Carolina Camper Cookoff series. Upcoming competitions will include a:

* Barbecue Cookoff July 25-26 at Kings Mountain State Park 

* Chicken Cookoff Nov. 7-8 at Calhoun Falls State Park

* Grits Cookoff Jan. 16-17, 2015 at Myrtle Beach State Park

For more information on the Catfish Cookoff, click here or call the park office.