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Las Cruces Bulletin
One Saturday each August, a cacophony of sounds bounces around the tables and appliances in the kitchen.
Knives chop, blenders blend and oven doors slam, all the while jokes are traded, hands are repeatedly washed and cans are opened.
Ah, Men Who Cook has come to Las Cruces once again.
For the eighth year, the annual event, which raises money to Mesilla Valley Hospice, is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 8, at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum at 4100 Dripping Springs Road.
Tickets cost $75 per person or $1,000 for a table of 10 and can be bought at Mesilla Valley Hospice’s front desk at 299 Montana Ave.
A lot of fun
Government officials and local “celebrities” will operate booths right next to business owners and retirees. Some of the men go it alone while others have helpers. In fact, in some cases, the chefs are actually the figure head and, ahem, the helper, often a wife, is actually the brains behind the operation.
Whatever the situation, the food entries are broken into multiple categories like main dish, appetizer, dessert etc. and judges elbow through the crowds to sample all the dishes on their respective lists.
Awards are handed out at the end of the evening.
Tip jars are placed at each booth and there is a prize for the chef who brings in the most love via greenbacks and change.
In the past, those on hand to sample the fare might have run across everything from to chicken picatta to jicama salad. Food such as hot dogs cooked in a bourbon sauce might be served near a booth with warm peach cobbler on hand.
Creative names abound as well. Kathy’s Krazy meatballs were a hit in the past while Hooah's Your Papa Picnic Roast and Rev. Joe Daddy's Nash County Pulled Pork delighted attendees.
Rob Sharp with Wilson Binkley Advertising hit the ground running his first year with something called Coochi Coochi Charro Beans, a homage to “Charo” 1970s-era entertainer Maria Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baez of Spain who often said something akin to “Coochi.”
This year, his third, Sharp’s humor is intact and he is cooking Buffalo Chicken Mac n’ Cheese, “a single recipe that contains all that is man,” he said.
Mesilla Valley Hospice
In its 32nd year, Mesilla Valley Hospice offers endof- life care for those who are ill and for their families and loved ones.
State Rep. Bill McCamley has whipped a dish every year since the event’s inception. “Hospice does one of the hardest jobs out there, McCamley said. “Their work allows people in the toughest situations to have the most grace and dignity possible. They also made my grandmother's passing much easier than it could have been.”
The hospice began in late 1980 when several doctors and nurses and others determined there needed to be an organization to help those with terminal illness.
In 1993, MVH moved into its current location and has added its care facility, La Posada. The first patient was admitted in September of 1998.
More information about MVH can be found online at www.mvhospice.org. The phone number is 5234700.
Brook Stockberger may be reached at 680-1977 of firstname.lastname@example.org.