*For all press release inquiries, please reach out to Theresa Meyer (Theresa.Meyer@mail.house.gov)

(Courtesy of Senator Tina Smith) 

Today, Senator Tina Smith hosted the eighth annual Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition. Sen. Smith took up the helm of Al Franken’s annual hotdish off to determine which Minnesota Congressional Delegation member makes the best hotdish. You can download video from the event here, here, and here, and an interview with Sen. Smith that you should feel free to use here. Participants recipes can be found here. You can find photos of the competition here. ??Rep. Tom Emmer’s “Hotdish of Champions” was named the winner of the 2018 Hotdish Off after a blind taste test—and a tie broken by Master of Ceremonies (and MinnPost’s Washington Correspondent) Sam Brodey—of all ten dishes.

The judges included:

·       Phill Drobnick—Gold-medal winning Coach of U.S Men’s Olympic Curling Team, the Minnesota hometown heroes known as “Team Shuster”

·       Joe Gill—Farm Director of KASM Radio in Albany, Minnesota

·       Noobtsaa Philip Vang—University of Minnesota graduate and founder of Foodhini, an online restaurant serving up meals handcrafted by immigrant and refugee chefs in the Washington, D.C. area

·       Kate Schaefers—Volunteer State President of AARP Minnesota

This is Rep. Emmer’s first hotdish title.

“I’ve often said that serving as Lieutenant Governor was like being invited into Minnesotan’s living rooms,” said Sen. Smith “Now, as Senator, I am proud to continue this tradition today because it’s like bringing the Minnesota kitchen—and the tradition of great hotdish—to Washington. I want to thank all of my colleagues in the Minnesota Congressional delegation for taking part, and congrats to Rep. Emmer for winning this year’s competition.”

“I was excited to once again join all of my Minnesota colleagues for the annual Hotdish competition,” said Congressman Emmer. “My hotdish this year was inspired by the incredible performances of Minnesotans, like Maddie Rooney and Mike Shultz of Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District, in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Just like them, this ‘Hotdish of Champions’ brought home the gold!”

“This year, the USA Olympic curling team brought home its first ever gold and captured hearts across America,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “With seven of the ten members of Team USA’s curling team hailing from MN, my ‘Gold Medal Curling Hotdish’ is the perfect way to savor that victory—literally—because the only thing more Minnesotan than winning gold medals in winter sports is celebrating with a hearty hotdish.”

“Gathering together over hotdish is a timeless part of what makes our Minnesota way of life so great,” said Rep. Walz. “While we might not see eye to eye all the time, there’s no tastier a reminder that we are all Minnesotans than the Hotdish Competition. I’d like to thank Senator Smith for keeping this friendly tradition alive.”

“After last year’s narrow and controversial defeat to Rep. Peterson, my office came back with more experience, more knowledge, and a, dare we say, cutting edge hotdish.” Rep. Lewis said. “Competition aside, it really is great to be able to come together and mix comradery, good food, and a great Minnesota tradition.”

“Nothing brings Minnesotans together like hotdish. I’m pleased that Senator Smith has continued this friendly competition with our state’s favorite comfort food,” Rep. McCollum said. “Congratulations to Rep. Emmer on winning today, and thanks again to my colleagues for sharing their favorite hotdish recipes with all of us.”

"It's that time of year again—when Minnesotans learn which member of the state's congressional delegation has introduced a new, unique ingredient to their hotdish recipe,” said Rep. Paulsen. “It's good to see Republicans and Democrats cooking up ways to bring a taste of Minnesota to the halls of Congress."

“The hotdish competition is a time for us Minnesotans to truly flex what makes our state great: our people, our traditions and our food,” said Rep. Keith Ellison. “This year I wanted my dish to give a nod to the Minnesota Miracle, which I got to witness straight from U.S. Bank Stadium. Win or lose, the hotdish competition is always a treat, and I want to thank Senator Smith for hosting this great event."

“This annual event is a strong display of bipartisanship with good food,” Peterson said. “It’s always a pleasure to gather with the delegation over a plate of Minnesota hotdish.”

“Here in Minnesota, hot dish is a way of life,” Nolan observed. “Hot dish exemplifies the Minnesota qualities we hold dear - warmth, togetherness, creativity, and not too much spice.”

The other members prepared the following hotdishes: Sen. Tina Smith’s “10,000 Island Cheeseburger Hotdish Surprise,” Sen. Klobuchar’s “Gold Medal Curling Hotdish,” Rep. McCollum’s “SPAM Good Hotdish,” Rep. Walz’s “Tariff Tot Hotdish,” Rep. Ellison’s “Minnesota Miracle(whip) Hotdish,” Rep. Paulsen’s “Northwoods Breakfast Hotdish,” Rep. Rick Nolan’s “Tater Tot Hotdish,” Rep. Peterson’s “Buck the Party Line Hotdish,” and Rep. Jason Lewis’ “Purple People Wild Meat Eater Hotdish.”??Last year, Rep. Peterson earned his first hotdish title with his “Right to Bear Arms Hotdish. Two years ago, Rep. Tim Walz added a third title after taking the top prize in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, 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 (R-Minn.) "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.