Folks will have the chance to be named Chadron Griddle Master on Sunday, Sept. 19, in the Blackstone Battle at the Chadron Ace Hardware parking lot.
The smell of cooking food is nothing new to the lot, with various food vendors a regular sight. Sunday’s competition gets underway at 4 p.m. Event organizer Jordan Mak said he would prefer people who are planning to compete call beforehand so he can get an accurate count on how much meat is needed, but if entrants decide to show up the day of the event “it is what it is.”
“We provide all the food, but sauces and seasonings are on them,” Mak said. “But I provide all the vegetables, tortillas, meat, things like that.” He will be bringing hamburger, chicken and pork.”
As to the scoring, he explained, “The community is going to be the judges. Every single person has the opportunity to judge. You pay $2 for a ticket, and that ticket you put with whoever you think should win. Whoever has the most tickets by the end of it, wins.”
All of the money collected from tickets is pooled and matched by Ace, with the winner deciding where it will go. The winner also wins all of his or her money back on the griddle. “So if you bought a griddle for $400,” Mak said, “we give you the $400 back.”
As for the inspiration for the event, Mak said, “it’s been such a tough year, with everything going on. Not even just Covid, but all the stuff that’s been happening. This is something to help the community. We’re not getting any money out of this. This is just for the community.”
There will also be a beer garden set up, and live music from Blue Street with Tanner Johns.
Cooking in the Blackstone Battle begins at 4 p.m., with judging beginning at 5:30 p.m. to provide time for judging and hang out for a while and enjoy the music. Mak hopes it will be a big event, and something that can happen on an annual basis.
There are already 15 cooks signed up from Chadron, Hay Springs, Alliance and Rapid City. Those who want to get in on the competition can contact Mak at 308-432-3914.