Rep. Tim Walz Wins Sen. Franken’s 6th Annual Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hotdish Competition

May 13, 2016


On the 158th anniversary of Minnesota becoming a state, the Minnesota Congressional Delegation came together for U.S. Sen. Al Franken's (D-Minn.) sixth 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 B-roll from the event here. Participants recipes can be found here. You can find photos of the competition here.

After a blind taste test of all 10 Minnesota Congressional member’s hotdishes, Rep. Tim Walz’s “Turkey Taco Tot Hotdish” was named the winner of the 2016 Hotdish Off. The judges included:

·       Award-winning Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema, a native Minnesotan who donned a disguise to maintain his anonymity for when he visits restaurants;

·       Dorothy Sietsema, Tom’s mother, and a Minnesota culinary authority in own right, who happened to be visiting from Worthington, Minnesota; and

·       Ryan Jensen, the Founder and Owner of popular DC coffee shops, Peregrine Espresso, and native of Fergus Falls, MN.

Rep. Walz’s Turkey Taco Tot Hotdish victory makes it his third hotdish title.

“It’s always nice 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. Walz on his award-winning hotdish. It was delicious. ”

“A Hotdish dynasty is born,” Rep. Walz said, after winning his third Hotdish championship. “In all seriousness though, I congratulate Rep. McCollum on her delicious runner-up dish as well, and thank Senator Franken again for putting on this friendly competition. It’s a great way for us to come together and celebrate our heritage, while building bipartisan relationships. As we move forward, let’s carry this spirit of bipartisanship past the Hotdish competition, and work to solve the real challenges we face.”

“The Congressional Hotdish competition brings us together for great company and food every year,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “This year, my ‘Babe the Brew Ox’ hotdish, as delicious as it was, came up a little short. I congratulate Representative Walz on his victory and look forward to building on this friendly spirit as we work together to serve the people of Minnesota.”

“This event is counter to so many in Washington in these days,” said Rep. Peterson. “It’s an opportunity to put partisanship and politics aside and support the state of Minnesota. I always enjoy meeting with my colleagues and friends over a plate of Minnesota hotdish and congratulate Rep. Walz on his victory,” said Rep. Peterson.

“The caliber of this competition gets better and better every year,” said Rep. McCollum “Sen. Franken deserves a lot of credit for hosting this event and for making hotdish great again.”

“For generations, hotdish has brought Minnesotans together for good food and fellowship,” said Rep. Kline. “I have been pleased to take part in the annual friendly competition among members of the Minnesota delegation over the years and I congratulate all of the participants as we showcase some of our great state’s homegrown and home-cooked recipes.”

"This bipartisan event proves that nothing unites Minnesotans like hamburger, cheese, tater tots and cream of mushroom soup," Nolan said.  "Blended together at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, these four essential food groups keep our women strong, our men good looking and our children above average."

“The best part of the Minnesota Delegation Hotdish Competition this year was tasting all of the wonderful dishes that remind me of our great state,” said Rep. Ellison. “I thank Senator Franken for bringing us together every year, and giving us the opportunity to try some hotdish. Congrats to Rep. Walz on his victory!”

“There’s nothing better than bringing some Minnesota flavor to our nation’s capital,” said Rep. Paulsen. “Tastiness is something that elected officials of all political stripes can believe in.”

“I am a firm believer of bringing Midwest values to Washington and today we did just that – with hotdish,” said Emmer. “There is nothing like a little Minnesota cooking to bring Members of Congress from all over the political spectrum together. I am hopeful for a future Hotdish Competition win, just as I am hopeful for the future of this great nation.”

The other members prepared the following hotdishes: Sen. Franken made Land of 10,000 Calories Hotdish; Sen. Klobuchar made Babe the “Brew” Ox Steak and Ale Hotdish; Rep. Peterson made Collin’s Rockin’ Rabbit “Hop” Dish; Rep. McCollum made Making Hotdish Great Again Hotdish; Rep. Kline made Pizza Pie Hotdish; Rep. Ellison made The Most Beautiful Hotdish in the World: Green Chile-Chicken Casserole; Rep. Nolan made Cousin Jack’s Hot-Rolled, Corrosion-Resistant Pasty Hotdish; Rep. Paulsen made Boundary Waters Bacon, Beef, and Taters Hotdish; and Rep. Emmer made Havana Hotdish.

Last year, Rep. McCollum bested the competition with her “Turkey, Sweet Potato, and Wild Rice Hotdish.” Rep. Walz's "Turkey Trot Tater-Tot Hotdish" took the top prize in 2014, and his "Hermann the German Hotdish" took first place in 2013. 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.