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Florida Guide > Other Activities

Four Corners Gator Cook-Off

The first Four Corners Gator Cook-Off was held in a vacant field near Champions Gate in May 2006. Its proposed location had originally been at Four Corners Charter School, but as the school governors would not sanction the sale or consumption of alcohol on school premises, even though it would be on a Saturday, a non-school day, it meant that if the event had been held at that location it would have been ‘dry’. Ironically the last minute move ensured the success of the 1st Cook-Off and so the Second Annual Cook-Off was held on May 5th 2007, albeit at Formosa Gardens on US Highway 192.

Originally the brainchild of the Four Corners Area Council, the cook-off was seen as an attempt to bring people together and establish a sense of community in an area that has many neighbourhoods and developments, but, due to the transient nature of its short-term residents, had a lack of identity. As this year’s event was held on the Formosa Gardens shopping centre car park it did mean that parking space was limited but nevertheless it is estimated that between 1, 000 and 1, 500 people attended the event, which was well supported by local businesses and organisations who rented booths. In fact, despite early worries, the booths were sold out and after just two years it seems that the Council’s idea has become a winner!

The organisers decided that the event should be as much about meeting as it was about eating and this year just five contestants were invited to submit recipes for judging. Chef Paul Player and his team from the Gaylord Palms produced an alligator lasagne, while Nick Sandora, who normally specialises in parties, supplied gator croquettes with a variety of dips, including a Kentucky Bourbon dip, as it was also Kentucky Derby day, a chilli lime yoghurt dip, and in honour of Florida, an orange marmalade mustard.

The chefs of Take Sushi, the Japanese restaurant in Formosa gardens, served up gator meat tempura on a sushi roll and while the crowds seemed a little reluctant to experiment with such an exotic dish, the judges decided that this dish was the winner.

The visitors weren’t however afraid to enjoy them selves and both local residents and visitors alike praised the event and deemed it a great success. So if you are anywhere in the vicinity of Four Corners in early May get yourselves along to the Annual Gator Cook-Off and realise that there is more than just burgers to enjoy in Florida!

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Page added on: 7 July 2008
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