Clean sweep for ‘Cup’

A BIG NIGHT — Seth and Elizabeth Lintelman, with daughter Addison, of the Cup N’ Saucer Cafe in Sherburn swept top honors Wednesday at the Blue Ribbon Pork Cookoff at the Martin County Fair.

FAIRMONT — For the fourth consecutive year, Sherburn’s Cup N’ Saucer Cafe swept top honors at the annual Blue Ribbon Pork Cookoff, ranking first in both the people’s choice division and the connoisseurs’ division.

Owners Seth and Elizabeth Lintelman offered slow braised pork shoulder, creamed local corn, marinated local tomatoes and roasted local poblano chili romesco during Wednesday’s event at the Martin County Fair.

The people’s choice award goes to the entry receiving the highest number of votes from the 400 ticket-holders who attend the cookoff. Second place in this category went to Fairmont Butcher Block for its pork pinwheels, and third place went to Marina Lodge of Fairmont for tumeric pork tenderloin skewers with Thai basil dipping sauce.

The connoisseurs division is judged by a panel of professionals, which this year included David Preisler, executive director of the Minnesota Pork Producers; Tim McCarty, executive chef of the Mayo Foundation House in Rochester; and Ken Davis, certified judge with the Kansas City BBQ Society. This trio of judges awarded second place in their division to the Blazer Bar and Grill of Fairmont for its blackened corn and smoked pulled pork soup, and third place to Green Mill of Fairmont for its bacon steak with bacon, apple and shredded broccoli cole slaw.

The sixth entrant in the cookoff, Ambiance of Fairmont with its cinnamon apple pork roulade, drew accolades from the samplers, many of whom said picking a favorite was difficult.

Now in its 20th year, the Blue Ribbon Pork Cookoff has become a Martin County Fair tradition. Each year, only 400 tickets are offered, and all 400 have always sold. Ticket-holders sample each entrant’s offering and rate the dish on appearance, flavor/taste, pork quality, texture and originality.

Proceeds from ticket sales fund two $4,200 scholarships from the agri-business committee of the Fairmont Area Chamber Commerce. This year’s scholarships were awarded to Sierra Williamson and Leyton Becker.

The cookoff is sponsored annually by the Chamber’s agri-business committee, Martin County Pork Producers and Martin County Corn and Soybean Growers.