Cook of the Week Challenge 2020 is back in October with a new look

  • Daily Herald co-workers Lori Urbaniec, left, and Karyn Kraske are ready for National Hunger Action Day Thursday, Sept. 10, part of Hunger Awareness Month.

      Daily Herald co-workers Lori Urbaniec, left, and Karyn Kraske are ready for National Hunger Action Day Thursday, Sept. 10, part of Hunger Awareness Month. Lori Urbaniec | Staff Photographer

  • Orange masks with the Northern Illinois Food Bank logo are the perfect way to wear orange for National Hunger Action Day Thursday, Sept. 10, part of Hunger Awareness Month.

      Orange masks with the Northern Illinois Food Bank logo are the perfect way to wear orange for National Hunger Action Day Thursday, Sept. 10, part of Hunger Awareness Month. Lori Urbaniec | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/9/2020 6:30 AM

Smaller, yes, but still a big deal for foodie followers and fans, the Daily Herald Cook of the Week Challenge 2020 is back in October with a new look.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, we cannot hold a live cook-off finale as we had hoped. And without the popular big finish, we thought we'd change up the entire contest this year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

We've come up with a condensed version, a sudden-death, one-recipe challenge for eight willing home cooks.

The eight competitors will still have to create a recipe for the judges using select ingredients. Judges will still evaluate recipes on creativity, presentation, use of ingredients and perceived taste. There will still be prizes, but the title of Cook of the Year all rests on one recipe. So no pressure there.

The cooks will be chosen from entries we've already received.

Keep an eye on the Food section for more details surrounding the contest in October when we'll introduce our eight intrepid cooks, get a look at their recipe entries and hear from the judges. You will also get a chance to vote online for the Readers Favorite award.

Wear orange

A perennial sponsor of the Cook of the Week Challenge, Northern Illinois Food Bank promotes a campaign with Feeding America: Hunger Action Awareness Month, which starts Sept. 10 with Hunger Action Day.

This year the NIFB asks you to wear orange in solidarity for Hunger Action Day. You might turn city landmarks orange for the day, hold a fundraiser or otherwise get the word out on behalf of the millions of people facing hunger. Now, during a global pandemic, that need is even greater. Food banks estimate that four in 10 people visiting a food bank now need assistance as a result of COVID-19.

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To help families in need locally, you can join the Northern Illinois Food Bank on Sept. 11, this national day of service, to pack and distribute food. Volunteer time slots at the West Suburban Center in Geneva are 8 to 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. And at the North Suburban Center in Park City, the slots are from 8 to 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

For more information or to register a group of volunteers, call (630) 443-6910 or email volunteer@northernilfoodbank.org.

You can make a difference by creating a personal fundraiser for Feeding America. Learn how to start yours online by contacting Molly Speckman, at (630) 443-6910 ext. 196 or at mspeckman@northernilfoodbank.org.

For more information on ways to get involved, visit https://solvehungertoday.org/ham-2020/ or https://www.feedingamerica.org/take-action/hunger-action-month.

Todd Somers of Trout Valley invented a new condiment, which is available in Jewel stores, called MustKetch.
  Todd Somers of Trout Valley invented a new condiment, which is available in Jewel stores, called MustKetch. - Rick West | Staff Photographer
Update

We wrote last year about an ingenious condiment, Somers' Family MustKetch, the brainchild of Todd and Ann Somers of Trout Valley. Their product -- the original being a mixture of ketchup, mustard and a blend of spices -- was sold at just a few local stores and on Amazon. Today, the line of products also can be found in 49 Chicago-area Jewel stores. You can see recipes incorporating the various flavors and a list of where it's sold at mustketch.com.

• Contact Food Editor Susan Stark at sstark@dailyherald.com or (847) 427-4586. Be her friend on Facebook.com/SusanStarkDailyHerald or follow her on Twitter.

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