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Cooks compete at Katy Rice Festival

October 10, 2018

About a dozen people had entered by Friday an entrée and/or dessert in the rice cooking competition of this month’s Katy Rice Festival.

Janet Corte, who’s chair of the recipe contest, said she had hoped to have more entries but thought the contest was going well. “This is the first time we’ve done this. It’s a building year. I’m not disappointed.”

Friday was the last day to accept registration for the contest; no entry fee was required. The Katy Rice Festival will be Oct. 12-14. Visit www.katyricefestival.com for details.

The only real requirement for the contest is that the main ingredient has to be rice or a rice product, she said. Contestant will cook their entry at home and bring it to Katy City Hall on Friday, Oct. 12, for the 5 p.m. judging in council chambers. Each contestant is receiving a plain, white container depending upon what best fits their recipe, said Corte. The microwable containers will be numbered so that the judges won’t know who the contestant is.

Three judges — two members of rice farming families and a former mayor — will rank each entry on a scale of 1-5. “Whoever has the highest number of points will be declared first, second and third,” said Corte. The top three contestants in each category will receive ribbons. The two first-place winners will receive $100 cash. Winners will be announced between 2 and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, on the main stage at the festival. Other contestants will receive certificates.

In addition to submitting their recipe along with their prepared dish, contestants will be asked permission to publish their recipes if they are among the top three finalists.

“It it really takes off, we might want to do a Katy Rice Festival cookbook with the top three winners from each year,” explained Corte talking about a possible future publication.

Corte said forecasts for the festival weekend project perfect weather with highs in the low 80s. “It should be a wonderful weekend for our festival,” she said. “I’m so excited that the city is doing the Katy Rice Festival.” The city and Rotary Club of Katy are festival co-sponsors.

“We’re really going back to the heritage of the festival,” said Corte. It will be more craft-oriented than it has been the last few years, she said. Displays will feature a rice combine as well as photos of rice farming from years past.

Corte noted that the entry fee is reduced from prior years. Admission is $5 per person with those ages 12 and younger admitted free. “I think it’s going to be a great festival. I hope people turn out for the festival,” said Corte.

There is no admission charge on Friday night when events will be offered at Avenue B and Third Street from 6-11 p.m., including live music, a carnival, food trucks and a beer garden.

Saturday events will start with a 9 a.m. parade which will assemble at 10th Street and Avenue C, proceed on 10th Street to Drexel, Fifth Street and then Avenue C. The festival in downtown Katy will open at 10 a.m. Saturday and continue until 10 p.m. Sunday hours are noon-6 p.m. A free shuttle service will be available Saturday and Sunday to and from the Merrell Center.

karen.zurawski@chron.com

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