CasaBlanca’s inaugural Mesquite Open Dutch Cookoff concludes two days of competition; draws big praise
The inaugural Mesquite Open Dutch Oven Cookoff attracted competitors from Nevada, Idaho and Utah, and those who entered seemed convinced that a return of the event is a must.
The event was won by the husband and wife team of Dave and Linda Baugh of Bountiful, Utah. The couple captured first-place money of $2,000.
“We had a blast,” said Mr. Baugh, a 45 year-old CPA. “The Dutch Oven group is small, and we made a lot of friends. I think what won this for us was our orange marmalade cake.”
The winners, who have been married for 22 years, said the near six-hour trip was worth the commitment.
“We had an awesome time,” said Mrs. Baugh while introducing the couple’s two daughters, Nicole, 14; and Taylor 12. “It was a great event, and very organized. We’ll be back next time, for sure.”
While the Baughs were obviously happy with the end result, it wasn’t hard finding others who agreed with them.
“This was my first event, and we really enjoyed it,” said Bruce Boyle, a 58 year-old home physical therapist whose efforts during the Jan. 7-8 event included a pot roast, bread and a peach pecan upside down cake. “I’m a rookie to this, but if they have another event, we’ll be back, for sure.”
Boyle, who cooked with his brother, Scott of Lehi, Utah, said the money in the $5,000 event didn’t matter. The Boyles joined the rest of the field in the parking lot behind the CasaBlanca Showroom.
“They can keep the money,” said Boyle. “This is just good fun.”
Omar Alvarez, a former world champion from Burley, Ida., who worked with Arlie Bragg of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., to present the event, didn’t hesitate to laud the Mesquite Open
“It was great,” said Alvarez. “I’m sure this will return to the CasaBlanca.”
Bragg, who has become nationally-renowned for his barbeque events including the Smokin’ in Mesquite BBQ Championship each Labor Day, should be comfortable at the CasaBlanca by now considering that the hotel casino is becoming almost like his second home.
“We had a ball,” said Bragg. “The people who competed all complimented us, and I have no doubt that we’ll all be back sometime in the future.”
Alan and Vanessa Johnson, also of Burley, Ida., considered the long trip and expenses well worth it.
“I have been cooking since I was 12,” said the 40 year-old Mr. Johnson, a cabinet maker. “I started when I was in Boy Scouts, and I love doing this.”
Mrs. Johnson was also quick to praise the event.
“It was great,” she said adding that the trek from Burley took more than eight hours but was worth the commitment. “The people of the CasaBlanca were great hosts.”
Once competition was concluded Saturday afternoon, a good crowd converged on the CasaBlanca Showroom where the throng gobbled up the food prepared by the participants.
Stuart Rosman, a former Las Vegan who moved to Mesquite in January of 2009, decided to attend after getting an email from the CasaBlanca.
“I think this is great,” said Rosman, 46, who was an art promoter in Las Vegas who is now retired. “There are so many really cool events here. Mesquite is a real family-oriented city, and this sort of thing is fun. They have had a great turnout. I’m going to eat, but not until the line dies down.
“The best thing about Mesquite is that there is no traffic. The people in Mesquite aren’t so transient like there are in Las Vegas, and this is a wonderful place to live. When you consider that these events don’t cost anything, you can’t beat. Then, too, you can’t beat the weather. This is a great way to bring attention to Mesquite.”
Rosman’s buddy Carl Larue, also retired, attended the cookoff.
“I love the people here,” he said. “I’m a northerner and I like friendly people like the ones you find here.”
The event was a benefit for the Mesquite Virgin Valley Lions Club. About $1,600 was raised for the Lions Club through $10 donations made by patrons who bought samplings of the food cooked.
Each team competed in various categories including breads, a main course and dessert utilizing briquettes while cooking with briquettes on tables 18 inches off the ground.
An awards presentation in the CasaBlanca Showroom concluded the event.
CasaBlanca Sporting Event Manager Christian Adderson lauded the event.
“The CasaBlanca resort is becoming a great destination for food enthusiast from all over,” Adderson said. “Whatever your appetite, you will be able get it fed in Mesquite throughout the year.”
The third annual Mesquite Motor Mania returns Friday through Sunday. Sponsored by the Mesquite Resort Association, Mesquite Motor Mania is expected to draw more than 500 classic vehicles from several states.
Also presented Sunday at the CasaBlanca will be the $5,000 Smokin’ Big Chili Challenge with competition in Red Chili, Chili Verde, Salsa and People’s Choice categories; while benefiting the Mesquite Cancer Help Society.
In addition, Sunday’s schedule will include the Golf Fore Life tournament at the CasaBlanca Golf Course with all proceeds going to the Mesquite Cancer Help Socidety.
Further information regarding the events can be found by calling Black Gaming Sporting Event Manager Christian Adderson at 702-346-7529, ext. 15 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by visiting www.casablancaresort.com.
$5,000 Dutch Open Dutch Oven Cookoff
Jan. 7-8 at the CasaBlanca Resort
Final Overall Results
1. Dave Baugh, Bountiful, Utah, 257, $2,000; 2. Will Ward, Stockton, Utah, 248, $1,000; 3. David Grover, Murray, Utah, 247, $500; 4. Alan Johnson, Hayburn, Ida., 242, $250; 5. Matt Pelton, Provo, Utah 235, $125; 6. Bobby Kason, Las Vegas, 231, $100; 7. Dian Mayfield, Burley, Ida., 229; $100; 8. Mark Romrell, $100.
CAPTION: Event promoter Arlie Bragg, left, congratulates Linda and Dave Baugh of Bountiful, Utah for capturing top money of $2,000 Jan. 8 to win the inaugural Mesquite Open Dutch Oven Cookoff at the CasaBlanca Resort.
CONTACTS: Christian Adderson, Black Gaming Sporting Event Manager, 702-346-7529, ext. 15, or email him at email@example.com; Mike Henle, The Idea Company Public Relations, 702-279-3483.