Calling all cooks and home entertainers! Do you have a fish dish that’s sure to please? A wit that wows? The Cahaba River Society is taking its Cahaba River Fry-Down fish-cooking competition virtual for 2020.
Chefs will compete by submitting their favorite recipes for fish and side dishes and demonstrating them via videos that will be aired along with other exciting entertainment, like insider Cahaba fishing tips and Cahaba adventure videos, during the week of September 29-October 4.
Anyone can watch for free from the comfort of their own home. Teams can win coveted fry pan prizes, awarded by professional judges, and also by raising the most donations from your team supporters.
“This year’s slogan is, ‘Fried-down, but not out: Our Hot Mess 2020,” says Casey Laycock, the event organizer. “Contestants will compete before our judges in a variety of categories, including presentation, best side dish, and most creative use of ingredients. The contestant who raises the most donations in support of Cahaba River Society will be the winner of the coveted ‘Champion of the Cahaba’ Award.”
Now in its 11th year, this annual catfish cook off festival celebrates Alabama’s Cahaba River and is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Cahaba River Society, a nonprofit organization founded in 1988 to protect and restore the Cahaba River watershed and its rich diversity of life.
Festival-goers traditionally indulge in all-you-can-eat catfish, sides, and desserts while enjoying a festive, family-friendly, educational, carnival-like atmosphere.
“Due to the set of unique circumstances imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, we had to get creative with ways to bring this event to our community. We hope that the new, FREE, virtual format will help us reach an even wider audience with a full week of fun leading up to the big event,” said Cahaba River Society Executive Director Beth Stewart. “The Cahaba River is a primary drinking water source for the Greater Birmingham area. We typically draw over 1,000 people to this event, and we hope that even more will participate virtually this year. The Cahaba belongs to all of us, and everyone is welcome at Fry-Down and on the River.”
Anyone can enjoy the cooking videos and recipes at www.frydown.com and donate in support of their favorite contestant. Competitors can register on the website at a cost of $50 for a community team (individuals, friends, families and nonprofits) or $200 for a corporate cook team. The deadline for competitors to register ends at midnight on August 29, and videos must be submitted by September 8.
Founded in 1988, the Cahaba River Society works to restore and protect the Cahaba River Watershed and its rich diversity of life, including its globally-significant freshwater biodiversity and the diverse people of the Birmingham metro area and central Alabama relying on the River for drinking water, recreation and many other needs.