State Fairs, 2021

Family Heirloom Recipes Competition, 2021





Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, South Dakota




Potato salad





Grandma Hilda’s Cooked Salad Dressing

Lois L. Jennings, Savage, Minnesota



Our Family Heirloom Recipe competition seeks your best made from scratch recipe of a family favorite never served to guests.  Maybe it is a favorite reuse of leftovers, something cobbled together because Mom’s doing laundry.  Can’t think of anything, well bring whatever you want. To encourage delving deep into your family’s culinary history, please submit family recipes prior to 1950. We look forward to learning about and tasting your treasured foods.


Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance is dedicated to exploring, celebrating and preserving unique food traditions and their cultural contexts in the American Midwest. By hosting public events, developing archival resources and generating publications, the Alliance celebrates the distinctiveness of a region that is as varied in tastes and traditions as it is in its geography from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains.  Exploring indigenous foods like Wisconsin cranberries and Minnesota walleye, celebrating iconic flavors like the wheat and corn from across the prairies, chronicling cuisines from Native American to early European immigrants to 21st-century newcomers, or highlighting fish boils in small towns and fine dining big cities, the Alliance promotes and chronicles the diversity of the region’s culinary character.


PRIZE money sponsored by The Spice House ( in Illinois:

1st place – $150.,  2nd place – $100.,  3rd place – $50



JUDGING CRITERIA History  50%,  Prepared Recipe  40%, Appearance & Display 10%


Enter your best made-from-scratch family heirloom recipe suitable for a family meal or community dinner or a family favorite that has never been written down. These recipes should be 50 years or older (1970 or earlier).


Entries should be typed (or neat handwriting) on 8-1/2 x 11-inch paper in duplicate. On the back of every history and recipe page submitted, please state contestant’s name, age at time of contest, address, phone number and email address.


On a separate page(s), please state the recipe. Each entry must be replicable from the recipe submitted. If an ingredient requires a recipe (for example, Jerry’s famous sausage), please include it. A copy of the original recipe (color or black and white). These may be in personal culinary diaries, back of envelopes, notations in books or 3×5 cards. If you have rewritten the original recipe to clarify instructions, please include a copy along with the original recipe that inspired it. If the family favorite recipe was lost and you put effort to recreate it, please note this in your history with some explanation of how it was achieved (or how it was lost).


On a separate page(s) present the recipe’s history. You may include who passed the recipe down to you, ethnicity (if relevant), number of years the recipe has been in your family and any interesting information about its place in your family’s traditions. Note the history accounts for 50% of the score so be sure to do justice to your recipe’s story. Please consult under the ‘state fair’ tab for examples of recipes and their histories.


Each winning entry will be shown in a display. Your product should be displayed simply though attractively, with the use of props, such as a copy of the original recipe, photographs, placemat, napkins, glassware or flowers. If you frame your recipe or narrative, please have a copy available without any frame.


By submitting your entry, you accept official rules and agree to be bound by the judges’ decisions, which will be final. You also agree that your recipe and history narrative will become the property of Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance, which reserves the right to edit, adapt, copyright, publish and use without compensation to you.


By participating, contestants also understand and accept the right of Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance to use contestant names, photos, history narratives and recipes for publicity without compensation.


Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance is not responsible for lost or illegible recipes, nor is the fair.


Taxes on prizes are the responsibility of the winner.


Entrants must be at least 18 years of age; one entry per person. Contestants, or their family members, who participated before may not resubmit previously entered recipes. Greater Midwest Foodways board and advisory council members cannot compete.


Recipes from the Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance website ( are not eligible for entry in this contest.



Illinois State Fair Logo 2016 PRoducing our future

Illinois State Fair

Competition: Friday August 13, 2021 at `10:00 AM and winners announced at 12:15 PM



Trivia Prizes sponsored in partnership with The Spice House





Indiana State Fair


Competition: Wednesday, August 11, 2021 check in: 1 pm to 3 pm at the Culinary Arts Northeast Entrance.  Open contest judging begins at 3:00 pm at the Ellison Bakery Culinary Kitchen.




Missouri State Fair logo 2015 show offs welcome

Missouri State Fair

Competition: Saturday, August 14, 2021 at 2:30 PM.



South Dakota State Fair
Competition: Sunday, September 5, 2021 at 1:00 PM