Dogwood Hills Guest Farm- Cast Iron Cook Off

State Youth Cast Iron Cooking Competition

Saturday, November 7, 2020

544 Cozahome Rd. Harriet, AR 72639

Age categories:  Junior 9-13 Senior 14-18
Entry deadline October 20th, 2020
2020 Chefs:
Brian Townley- Exec Chef-The Vault
Amanda Ivy- Exec Chef-Low Ivy Catering
Cody Rudd- Exec Chef-Fox Ridge Luxery Assisted Living
Sammy Cyz- Low Ivy Catering
2020 Entries Sposored By  Rural Community Alliance
Competition ingredients Sponsored by Ralston Family FArms
Longtime Sponsor- Searcy COunty Chamber of Commerce
2020 Master of Ceremonies- Kat Robinson
2019 Sponsors for the cash prizes: 
Ralston Family Farms  Junior/ Senior 1st $150 each
Casey Copeland, The Avenue Junior/ Senior 2nd  $100 each
The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce  Jr/ Sr 3rd $50 each
2019 Judges: Scott Sudduth and our chefs!


Dogwood Hills Guest Farm is a family operated Agritourism Homestead.  Ruth, Thomas and Grace run all of the day to day farm operations as well as the Farm Stay, Farm to Table Dinners, Family and Educational Tours.  From their certified kitchen come monthly, five course, ultra local dinners, gluten free pastry and baked good and their award winning Brown Sugar Buttermilk and Caramel Apple Pies (Arkansas Pie Festival ’19).  They are very connected to the community and host a local 4H club, community Sunday potlucks and make creative dishes to sample for the food pantry with items from the boxes handed out. The Cast Iron Cook Off stemmed from their desire to make this connection.  Many years ago it started as “Homestead Days” on the farm. This was a day filled with education ranging from fermented foods to blacksmithing. Over the years it evolved into a food theme as demonstrators brought Dutch ovens to cook in while doing their crafts.   In 2014 there was a competition amongst the crafter/ cooks prior to the evening potluck. The following year it was stepped up a bit with prizes and judges. 2016 brought a youth category. 2017 it was strictly a youth competition with Cody Mayfield from South on Main demonstrating in our kitchen.  Many cooks (Sheilla Ballard, David Rodriguez, and Ronnie Wilbanks) were demonstrating outside as well during the day. We were also joined by the talents of Phyllis Speer and Kat Robinson. This was such a hit and the direction it needed to go. Last year Chefs Casey Copeland, Cody Rudd and Sammy Cyz were invited to come do demonstrations inside and out.   Kat Robinson was one of the judges and event consultants. It was a great time with kids entering from as far as Bradley and Elaine. Many had never been on a farm with animals. The delight they expressed made it an obvious progression and this year other Arkansas Agritourism Association venues were invited to host regional competitions. Getting youth out into rural Arkansas and cooking for themselves on Agritourism venues seems to be a win-win-win! Encouraging young people by showing them business opportunities for rural communities, inspiring them with creative dishes by top chefs and developing relationships between the younger generation and those that do it the old way.  Dogwood Hills lives this every day and wants to share it with rural Arkansas.