Milacaroni Festival to test taste, art

Area residents have an opportunity to participate in the Milacaroni Festival this Saturday, Oct. 20, an event that Milaca Art Center organizers are hoping to make into an annual event that grows with the years.

People still have time to submit the entry forms for the pasta cook-off — an aspect of Milacaroni Fest that has been tweaked since its debut last year. The deadline for submission is today, Thursday, Oct. 18.

“Last year the cook-off was based on just Mac and Cheese,” said the MAC’s Wendy  Bursch. “This year we have opened it up to all pasta types — cold or hot. I’ve heard of groups having internal cook-offs in order to determine whose pasta dish will be entered in MilacaRoni. I think that type of internal team building is wonderful.”

Bursch said all types of individuals and business entered last year and an equally mixed group of participants is expected Saturday. Those who attend the event on Saturday will be able to participate in the tasting and judging of the dishes. Equipped with a form that tells them what they should be looking for, such as presentation/appearance, smell, color and consistency and, of course, taste, they will choose this year’s winner. The process is carried out on many of the competitive cooking shows now popular on television.

“This type of judging helps educate tasters. Kind of like Chef Ramsey on MasterChef,” Bursch said laughing.

Milaca Public Schools art teacher Mimi Peterson is organizing the art show portion of the event. She said participants will be excited to see the large spaghetti fork sculpture Princeton artist Ron Gensler created to be used as the winner’s trophy. Last year, 40 artists competed for the honor.

“My students seem pretty excited,” Peterson said. “I think we’ll have even more than last year.”

For the full story, see the Thursday, Oct. 18 print edition of the Times.