Cherokee Nation to Host Traditional Indian Food Cook-Off

On September 3, ten teams will compete in a cook-off, preparing traditional Cherokee Indian foods. The menu is preset, consisting of hog meat, pinto beans, fry bread, a vegetable dish such as potatoes, squash or corn, and dessert dumplings—probably grape, blackberry or another fruit flavor.

Armed with forks and spoons, judges and visitors can taste the meals, prepared for 40 people within four-and-a-half hours. Judges will nominate their picks for the top three culinary teams; first through third place winners will take home $500, $300 and $200, respectively.

The cook-off commemorates the 59th Cherokee National Holiday, held annually over Labor Day weekend since 1953, in honor of the anniversary of the signing of the 1839 Cherokee Nation Constitution.

Entertainment acts and cultural and athletic events annually draw more than 90,000 visitors from across the world. This year’s Holiday theme is “Jobs, Language and Community.” For a full schedule of events visit

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