Rep. Collin Peterson Wins Sen. Franken’s 7th Annual Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition

Mar 8, 2017

Today, the Minnesota Congressional Delegation came together for U.S. Sen. Al Franken's (D-Minn.) seventh annual hotdish competition. Sen. Franken started the friendly "Hotdish Off" as a way to bring the delegation together and celebrate a Minnesota culinary tradition. You can download video from the event here and here, and an interview with Sen. Franken that you should feel free to use here. Participants recipes can be found here. You can find photos of the competition here.

After a blind taste test of all ten Minnesota Congressional member's hotdishes, Rep. Collin Peterson’s “Right to Bear Arms Hotdish” was named the winner of the 2017 Hotdish Off.

The judges included:

  • Mee Moua—President and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice and former Minnesota state senator
  • Norm Ornstein—Resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, native Minnesotan and University of Minnesota alum
  • Dr. Ed Ehlinger—Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health

This is Rep. Peterson’s first hotdish title.

“After a pretty grueling and divisive election year, it was great to put aside our differences and come together over some great hotdish,” said Sen. Franken. “I would like to thank all of my colleagues for taking the time out of their busy schedules to join the competition, and congratulate Rep. Peterson on his award-winning, bear meat-filled hotdish.”

“This event is always a strong showing of bipartisanship and good food,” Rep. Peterson said. “It is an honor to be this year’s winner, with a hotdish that recognizes the great outdoors. It’s always a pleasure to come together with the delegation. I appreciate Senator Franken’s work to continue this annual tradition and thank the other delegation members for tasty hotdish.”

“Minnesota draws its strength and vitality from our people, and so does this hotdish,” Sen. Klobuchar said. “From Swedish meatballs to Somali coriander to Ukrainian kielbasa, the ingredients in my ‘Minnesota Melting Tot’ hotdish come together as a celebration of our state’s people. There’s no better way to showcase Minnesota’s heritage than with this hotdish and our bipartisan friendly culinary competition. May the best tot win.”

“There is nothing trumped up about my classic Minnesota hotdish, Little Hotdish on the Prairie,” Rep. McCollum said. “Thank you to Senator Franken for bringing us together again this year to share in this Minnesota specialty.”

“At a time when Minnesotans are being told the urban-rural divide couldn’t be greater, the Hotdish Off is a warm, welcome reminder that there is more that binds us together than divides us apart,” said Rep. Walz. “At the end of the day, we all share the same core Minnesota values: family, freedom… and good food! Let us hold the lessons of today’s gathering dear as we strive to do the People’s work in a bipartisan manner. As always, a big thanks to Senator Franken for hosting this fantastic event.”

“I always look forward to the Hot Dish Off,” Rep. Ellison said. “It’s a great opportunity to unwind and be unapologetically Minnesotan. I think we all need some Minnesota Nice in our lives right now.”

“Today's MN delegation concoctions prove once again that Hotdish is one of the four major food groups,” Rep. Paulsen said. “Congrats Rep. Peterson on his victory this year!”

“Hotdish is the Minnesota State Hockey Tournament of foods, a proud tradition that brings us together to cheer both the winners and the losers,” Rep. Nolan said.

“While it appears there are few things Republicans and Democrats agree on publicly these days, one thing we can all agree on is hotdish,” said Rep. Emmer. “Republicans may have seen a victorious 2016, but it looks like I will have to wait until 2018 for a victorious hotdish competition. I am thankful for events like Senator Franken’s hotdish competition to bring all of the Minnesota delegation together.”

“Few things are more bipartisan than a delicious Minnesota hotdish, and it’s great to see my friends from the delegation all here,” Rep. Lewis said. “There’s nothing like a taste of home, and the 2nd district’s ‘Wild’ hotdish is possibly the best ever created. My thanks to Senator Franken for organizing this great event.”

The other members prepared the following hotdishes: Sen. Franken’s “Potato Pot Roast Potluck Hotdish,” Sen. Klobuchar’s “Minnesota Melting Tot Hotdish,” Rep. McCollum’s “Little Hotdish on the Prairie,” Rep. Walz’s “Prairie Home Hotdish,” Rep. Ellison’s “Solidarity Kugel,” Rep. Paulsen’s “Lake Wobegon Swedish Meatball Shepherd Pie,” Rep. Rick Nolan’s “Spud’s Taco-Nite Hot Dish,” Rep. Emmer’s “Sunday Beer Run and Brat Hotdish,” and Rep. Jason Lewis’ ‘“Minnesota Wild’ Rice and Pheasant Hotdish.”

Last year, Rep. Walz took home the trophy with his “Turkey Taco Tot Hotdish,” adding a third title after taking the top prize in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, Rep. McCollum bested the competition with her "Turkey, Sweet Potato, and Wild Rice Hotdish." Rep. In 2012, Sen. Franken's "Mom's Mahnomin Madness Hotdish" and former Rep. Chip Cravaack's (R-Minn.) "Minnesota Wild Strata Hotdish" tied for first place. Sen. Klobuchar took top honors in 2011 with her "Taconite Tater-Tot Hotdish."

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