Looking for West Tennessee’s best stew cooks

Looking for West Tennessee’s best stew cooks

Looking for West Tennessee’s best stew cooks


Brunswick stew is a catalyst for family get-togethers and neighborhood parties. It’s also used as a fundraiser by churches, civic groups and other charities. With this in mind, the Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville invites stew teams and individuals from across the region to participate in an Old Family Stew Cook-off Saturday, September 24. The winner will be named “West Tennessee StewMaster,” receive a trophy and earn bragging rights. Entry fee for the cook-off is $20 and all sales will benefit the stew team’s favorite charity.

“There are still many people throughout the region using old family stew recipes that have been handed down for generations,” says Sonia Outlaw-Clark, Center director. “It’s a tradition we want to keep alive and make sure our young people get a chance to experience.”

Teams will be required to make a minimum of 10 gallons of stew. Individual ingredients can be prepared off site but stews must be put together on site and ready at 11:30 am for judging. Set-up will begin at 6:30 a.m.

Judging criteria requires that you use chicken and/or beef as your meat ingredient. Wild game is not allowed. Potatoes, corn and tomatoes must also be used in some capacity. Judges will score based on ingredients, taste, texture and visual appeal.
“This is a fun and friendly competition and we want the teams to make money for their causes.”

The Center will provide 12 ounce bowls and 4 ounce cups for the teams to sell attendees samples and bowls for lunch. And, of course, the usual quarts and gallons will be available to take home. Teams can also sell canned drinks and bottled water.

According to Clark, the first Old Family Stew Cook-off was held in 2013. Renewed interest and recent inquiries about the competition prompted organizers to bring the contest back.
This year’s event is held in conjunction with Tina Turner Heritage Days which also includes an antique tractor show and cookbook signing by Robbie Montgomery, owner of Sweetie Pie’s restaurants. Nutbush tours and a Tina tribute concert round out the day’s activities.

The deadline for entry is September 1, 2016. Second and third place winners will also be recognized. A complete list of rules and regulations can be found online at www.westtnheritage.com or by contacting the Delta Heritage Center at 731-779-9000.

(Photo, above) Bobby Stokely is pictured with his trophy after winning the inaugural 2013 stew competition. This year’s event will be Saturday, September 24, at the Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville. Churches, civic groups and organizations are encouraged to participate and raise funds for their charities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *