They'll enter their corny dishes in the Amateur Cooking Contest slated for Sunday, July 15, between 10 and 10:30 a.m.
This year's judges include celebrity chef Joey Altman, host of KRON 4's "Bay Cafe," Congressman Jerry McNerney, Assemblyman Guy Houston, Grandma Lil, Pat and Ron Reagan, and Vice Mayor Bob Brockman.
"I judge flavor first," said Altman, his third year judging this contest. "It ultimately has to be something I would want another bite of."
He's looking for tried and true recipes over fancy and complicated. "I'd rather have a well-prepared classic than something very creative but not delicious."
If you love to cook, the competition isn't that stiff, so relax. The only requirement is to put corn in the recipe - not too hard to find in these parts.
"We average between 30 to 35 participants," said Cook-off Chairman Curtis Wong.
Not only is Wong owner of Curtis Wong Enterprises; he's editor of the Brentwood CornFest Cookbook, which has grown from its humble newsletter beginnings his wife supervised five years ago to a 98-page masterpiece.
Included are over 90 corn recipes, from soups and salads to main courses and desserts, contributed by members of the Brentwood community who also gave their dishes creative names.
There's "Short Circuit" Popcorn by Chuck and Cindy Collondrez of Chuck's Electric, "You-Can-Bank-On-It" Corn Chowder by Toni Grimes of Wells Fargo Bank, and "Dog-Gone-Good" Spicy Cornbread by Janet Fendyan from Paws and Claws Pet Sitters.
The cookbook costs $10 at the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce office on Oak Street, also at the CornFest, and proceeds go directly to local service organizations.
"My effort (in producing the book) is how I give back to the community," said Wong. "It takes a lot of time and the book grows every year, but it's worth it."
He's also happy to join community members with community leaders in a vegetable sort of way. "It's nice that they meet their representatives in a casual setting," said Wong. "I sent a book and invitation to our little town to Governor Schwarzenegger, but I'm not sure he'll come."
Altman, who lives in San Francisco with his wife and three kids, launched "Bay Cafe" in 1998, and will do a cooking demonstration in addition to his judging.
He's going to whip up a jalapeno corn salad with goat cheese and almonds, ancho chili prawns with avocado corn salsa, and grilled corn soup with peas and crab.
His "Shrimpy Cornbread" in the CornFest Cookbook underwent quite an evolution. "It was developed for one of my annual Cajun Festivals I held at my former restaurant Wild Hare (in Menlo Park)," Altman said. "It originally started out as a pork chop stuffing; then became a side dish all on its own."
"Sometimes dishes have a Darwinian evolutionary process," he added. "Mutation, adaptation and survival of the tastiest!"
Wong said applications to enter the cook-off end July 6, and the first-place winner will go home with $200. "Dishes go from very simple to very exotic," he said. "It's whatever your imagination can come up with."
For more information, call 634-3344 or visit the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce at 240 Oak St.
This a-maize-ing breakfast recipe for Corn Pancakes comes from Kim Linn, and can be found in the 2007 Brentwood CornFest Cookbook.
Kimberley Linn - Linnco Services
1¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups whole-kernel corn
Honey or maple syrup
Sift the dry ingredients together. Combine the eggs, milk and oil, then mix together with the dry ingredients. Stir in the corn. Spoon the batter into a preheated, lightly greased griddle or frying pan. Serve the pancakes with honey or maple syrup. Makes 12 medium pancakes.