Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Looking for 'the worst cook'

But who'd volunteer for such a contest?

The American Egg Board has launched its second "Search for America’s Worst Cook," a contest (of sorts) stemming from a survey that says 50 percent of Americans report having kitchen disasters regularly.

Don't know that I believe that one, but read on.

Apparently the Egg Board is looking for people whose recipe repertoire consists of microwaveable meals and the phone number for a pizza delivery guy. Such folks just might be America’s Worst Cook.

According to the second cooking survey from the American Egg Board, 50 percent of Americans reported having a disaster in the kitchen at least several times a year, and 42 percent said they know someone in desperate need of basic cooking skills. Overall, more than three-fourths of Americans (78 percent) believe that people today are worse cooks than people were 50 years ago.

Howard Helmer, the Guinness World Records "World's Fastest Omelet Maker," wants to help by encouraging home cooks of all ability levels to embrace the kitchen and take the spatula back into their own hands.

Many Americans are worried about their wallets getting thinner, and with more than 70 percent of meals being prepared at home in 2007, the egg folks say it's a perfect opportunity for families to spend more time learning how to make easy, affordable and delicious dishes.

Helmer believes that even the worst cooks can master easy egg dishes.

"I'm famous for my record-breaking omelet-making speed, but omelets are just the beginning when it comes to simple egg recipes. Even a novice can create an elegant quiche, frittata, or a strata casserole, and all it takes is a positive attitude, some patience and almost anything you have in your refrigerator or pantry," Helmer says .

Helmer recommends home cooks try Fool-Proof Frittata or Simple Strata for an effortless and enjoyable cooking experience. "These dishes are so easy to make that the entire family can lend a hand.

Even kids can help by cracking and whisking eggs, and sprinkling and stirring fillings," Helmer says . "And, moms can feel good about serving up eggs because they provide one of the highest-quality proteins of any food available."

To prove that even the most disastrous cooks can master the art of cooking with eggs, the American Egg Board is looking for America's Worst Cook. Entering involves sending a video or photo of you cooking, as well as a statement (200 words or less) on why you're the worst cook and are in desperate need of cooking help. (You can also enter someone else, but be careful about that, folks.)

The winner will be featured in an advertisement for the American Egg Board and will win a trip for two to New York City to take cooking classes and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of one of the greatest culinary cities in the world. (No exaggeration.)

The contest starts today and runs through June 30.