The San Dieguito Heritage Museum has rounded up creative amateur and professional chefs to compete at the eighth annual Beans & Greens Cook-off and Faire, set for Oct. 8.
Early settlers in this area found little water and arid soil and, with just the spring rains and the nightly ocean fog for nourishment, only lima beans (a dry-season crop) would yield. Unappetizing as lima beans might have seemed, they were the first crop planted when Encinitas was being settled in the late 1800s, and were the foundation of the beautiful today. Limas were Encinitas’ claim to fame for many years, from the 1880’s to the 1940’s.
Nearly 140 years after those first settlers, the Heritage Museum, at 450 Quail Gardens Drive, celebrates the lowly beans with its annual Beans & Greens Cook-off. Bean ice cream, cake, cookies, dips and many other exciting dishes have been winners of previous contests — nothing like your mama’s lima beans. With today’s emphasis on healthy eating and vegetarian fare, the recipe ingredients have been expanded to include any type of beans and/or greens, served either solo or in combination.
Celebrity judges will determine awards in each division for each category and for the Best Vegetarian Dish. A “People’s Choice” award will be selected in each division by the tasting public. Remember to arrive early so you don’t miss all the tastings from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Chefs will be competing for cash prizes, gifts and the coveted Lima Bean Trophy.
This traditional Encinitas fall celebration is free, with many kid-friendly events throughout the Museum grounds. This year, kids will have more fun than ever with crafts, games, a 4-H petting farm, face painting and photo ops in vintage clothes.
Adults, meanwhile, will have plenty to enjoy with live music, vintage cars, a silent auction, bake sale and tours of the Museum and Teten House. Besides the Cook-off tastings, there will be beer and wine, veggie burgers and hot dogs, and a smoothie booth.
For more information, to enter as a chef or to buy pre-event tasting tickets, visit www.sdheritage.org or call 760-632-9711. Tasting tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door, $5 for children 12 and under.