The world premier Iron Horse Cookery Cook-Off event will be held September 1, 2019 at the Nevada Northern Railway National Historic Landmark. Let's have some fun while we honor the culinary legacy of our early train crews.
Teams of present-day chefs (that could be YOU!) will compete by cooking three meals, one each in three different heat sources; the firebox of Locomotive No. 40, the potbelly stove of Caboose No. 3, and an open fire alongside the tracks. There will be cash prizes for the winners, but most importantly is the right to hold the title of Grand Champion – Iron Horse Cookery Master Chef!
The origin of Iron Horse Cookery started with the first steam locomotives and hungry engineers and train crews. The crews worked very long days without meal breaks. Having a fire, steam, hot water and a little ingenuity, the crews cooked their meals out on the line.
In the early days here at the Nevada Northern Railway, crews would work 16-hour days. In the locomotive, the engine crews had the firebox and the back of the boiler as a heat source. In the caboose, the Conductor and rear brakeman had the potbelly stove to cook on. During summer months, when it was too hot to cook in either the locomotive or the caboose, the crews would cook over an open fire alongside the tracks.
With a little ingenuity and resourcefulness the crews would make themselves great, hardy meals. The Iron Horse Cookery Cook-Off celebrates these days by replicating cooking in a steam locomotive, on a potbelly stove, and over an open trackside fire. The real challenge is mastering the wildly different heat sources. If you’re up for the challenge, come to Ely, Nevada this Labor Day and… Let’s get cookin’!
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