Rep. McCollum Beat Out Fellow Competitors Sens. Smith and Klobuchar, and Reps. Craig, Emmer, Hagedorn, Omar, Peterson, Phillips, Stauber at 9th Annual Hotdish Off


WASHINGTON, D.C. [04/09/2018]—Today, Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) hosted the ninth annual Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition. Sen. Smith took up the helm last year to continue the annual hotdish off to determine which Minnesota Congressional Delegation member makes the best hotdish—a dish similar to what other states call a casserole, but is indisputably better.

You can download video from the event here and here. Participants’ recipes can be found here. You can find photos of the competition here.
Rep. Betty McCollum’s “Hotdish A-Hmong Friends” was named the winner of the 2019 Hotdish Off after a blind taste test.

Maggie Rousseau, a Moorhead native, who for many years helped run the competition, served as emcee. This year’s judges were:
•    Fata Acquoi—Chief Organizer Liberian DED Lobby Day—an effort to extend humanitarian protections for Liberian Minnesotans and provide a path to citizenship—and George Washington University M.A. International Affairs student, who lived in Brooklyn Center before moving to Washington
•    John F. Edman—Director of Explore Minnesota, who lives in Stillwater and who has served four different Governors of three different parties, proving him a truly impartial, tri-partisan hotdish judge
•    Patrice Johnson—Nordic Food Geek, meatball historian living in the Twin Cities, and author of Jul: Swedish American Holiday Traditions (2017)and Meat Raffles and Butterheads: Food Rituals of the North (2020) which will include an exploration of hotdish culture
This is Rep. McCollum’s second hotdish title.

“Congrats to Rep. McCollum for winning the 9th Annual Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition with your ‘Hotdish A-Hmong Friends.’ I’m glad that year after year, this tradition continues and the hotdish just keeps getting better,” said Sen. Smith. “I want to also give a congrats to all the newest members who did not disappoint with their first go at the hotdish off. Again, Rep. McCollum really pulled out all the stops. I want to thank our judges, our emcee, and my fellow members of the delegation. And thank you Minnesota.”

“One of the largest Hmong communities in the United States is in Minnesota’s Fourth Congressional District,” Rep. McCollum said. “I’m so excited that my ‘Hotdish A-Hmong Friends’ recipe took first place in this year’s friendly congressional competition! Our state’s favorite comfort food unites Minnesotans from all walks of life. Thank you to Senator Smith for continuing this tradition, and to all of my colleagues for sharing their recipes with us today.”

“The Gophers may not have made it to the Final Four this year, but in Minnesota, hotdish is always a champion at the dinner table. My Final Four Layer Hotdish is a slam dunk we can all root for,” said Sen. Klobuchar.

“The annual hotdish competition is a fantastic bipartisan event that I've been looking forward to since I was sworn in,” said Rep. Craig. “There’s no better way to celebrate our state and our world champions, the Minnesota Lynx, than with a hotdish made with ingredients from our local CD2 farmers.”

“As defending champion of the hotdish competition, I look forward to competing with my fellow Minnesotans again,” said Rep. Emmer. “Every year, we get together to make delicious hotdishes, and celebrate a rich Minnesota tradition. Win or lose, it's an incredible testament to our commitment to finding common ground.”

“Minnesota’s First District is the second largest hog-producing congressional district in the country. In preparation for this competition, I wondered, ‘how much bacon can one hotdish handle?’ I encourage you to try our hotdish and add all the bacon you want. Eating bacon supports our southern Minnesota farmers and agribusinesses. And that’s Congressional Pork we can all get behind,” said Rep. Hagedorn.

“Our hot dish represents the diversity of the 5th District. It’s got plenty of spice, plenty of sauce, and of course meat and potatoes! We may not have taken home the top prize, but I can confidently say we had the best dish name!” said Rep. Omar.

“I always look forward to gathering with the delegation over a plate of Minnesota hotdish,” Rep. Peterson said. “This annual event showcases bipartisanship, good food, and a chance for folks to show off their family recipes.”

“Minnesota is the proud home of the largest Liberian community outside of Liberia itself, centered in the Third District,” said Rep. Phillips. “In recognition of their determination, contributions to our community, and recent extension of Deferred Enforced Departure, I am honored to present our hotdish entry—From Monrovia With Love. America’s connection to Liberia runs deep. Liberia was founded by freed American slaves, and its first eight presidents were born in the United States. Monrovia, the Liberian capital city, is named after U.S. President James Monroe. Our hotdish is a celebration of that special connection. Bon Appetit!”

“As one of this delegation’s newest members, I was excited to bring my A game to the best tradition on Capitol Hill,” said Rep. Stauber. “In my office, Team Stauber consumes Top the Tator like it’s going out of business, so it only made sense to incorporate this special ingredient into this year’s hotdish. We hope you enjoyed it.”

The other members prepared the following hotdishes: Sen. Smith’s “Herd on the Hill Hotdish,” Sen. Klobuchar’s “The Final Four Layer Hotdish,” Rep. Craig’s “World Championship Sausage Lynx Hotdish,” Rep. Emmer’s “From Cheese to Shining Cheese Hotdish,” Rep. Hagedorn’s “Make’n Bacon Great Again Hotdish,” Rep. Omar’s “Little Moga-hot-dishu,” Rep. Peterson’s “The Jimmy (Dean) of the Delegation’s Hotdish,” Rep. Phillips’ “From Monrovia with Love: Liberian Inspired Hotdish,” and Rep. Stauber’s “Top of the Tater Hotdish.”

Last year, Rep. Emmer won with his “Hotdish of Champions” after the Master of Ceremonies (then-Washington Correspondent for MinnPost Sam Brodey) broke a tie. Two years ago, Rep. Peterson earned his first hotdish title with his “Right to Bear Arms Hotdish.” Three years ago, Rep. Tim Walz added a third title after taking the top prize in 2013 and 2014. Rep. McCollum won with "Turkey, Sweet Potato, and Wild Rice Hotdish" in 2015. Sen. Franken's "Mom's Mahnomin Madness Hotdish" and Rep. Chip Cravaack's “Minnesota Wild Strata Hotdish” tied for first place in 2012. Sen. Klobuchar’s "Taconite Tater-Tot Hotdish" won in 2011.

Participants' recipes can be found here. You can download photos of the event here.