The thing that impresses me the most is the amount of energy and passion that people bring to cooking contests. Cooking seems to bring up these emotions in most us already, and the added competition aspect makes everything that much more intense.
I love reading the profiles of the winners. These are people who worked on their secret barbecue sauce for years to get to this moment, who baked ten pies until finally satisfied with the result, and who stayed up whole nights before the contest making sure everything was perfect. That's the kind of dedication that I can admire!
What about you? Ever thought about entering your summer jam in a contest or submitting your favorite chicken recipe in cook-off?