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Feed the Mosasaur food and cooking festival scheduled for March 3

People who take their eating seriously are invited to a food and cooking extravaganza that will benefit the Georgia Southern Museum.

The second annual Feed the Mosasaur Festival will be held on Saturday, March 3, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Nessmith-Lane Continuing Education Building on the campus of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.

Deriving its name from the Mosasaur – a 78-million-year-old fossil skeleton that dominates the Museum’s Hall of Natural History  the festival will feature food samples from some of the region’s most popular restaurants.

In addition, there will be an amateur baking contest for adults and children, a signature dish competition for professional food-service providers, a series of specialized cooking classes, a bake sale, and activities for the kids.

‘This event will have something to offer everyone who enjoys cooking and eating,” said Kelly Tharp, the chair of the Feed the Mosasaur Festival committee. ‘If you like to eat, you can taste the most delicious dishes in southeast Georgia, and if you like to cook, you can show off your skills and most treasured recipes in the amateur bake-off.”

Admission for the Feed the Mosasaur Festival is $9 per person for adults and $7.50 per person for senior citizens, students and children. Kids under the age of 3 will be admitted free.

All proceeds from the festival will be used to support the Museum’s many educational exhibits and programs.

‘This is a wonderful opportunity for people to have fun and support a worthy cause at the same time,” said Wendy Denton, the assistant director of the Museum. ‘For the price of admission, they can feast on an incredibly wide variety of food and check out some cool vendors. There will be lots of stuff for the kids to do, too.”

The Best Bites Bake-Off is open to amateur chefs of all ages. Adults can compete in categories for bread, cakes, cookies and bars, and pies. There will also be a dessert competition for children in the 4-9 and 10-14 age groups.

First-place winners in the bake-off will be presented with a festival T-shirt. The top three entries in each category will receive a ribbon and be published in the 2008 edition of the official ‘Feed the Mosasaur Cookbook.”

Anyone who wishes to enter the bake-off must deliver their entries between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The judging will take place between 10:30 and noon. There is no entry fee for the Best Bites Bake-Off, but all entries will be placed in a bake sale to benefit the Museum.

The Cooking With Class Institutes are a series of 50-minute classes that will focus on specific dishes. There are still openings in the classes for Cajun cooking, cake decorating, high tea, Indian cooking, introductory wine appreciation, romantic desserts, tapas, and wild-game cooking. There are also classes designed especially for children.

The fee for each cooking class ranges from $10 to $25, and advance registration is required.

The Best Bites Signature Dish Competition for restaurants and caterers will feature separate categories for appetizers, Asian food, barbeque, bread, dessert, entrees, fried chicken, Mexican food, and pizza.

Joseph Marinaro and Stephen Minton, the only two certified executive chefs in the region, will be the judges for the signature dish competition. Marinaro is the head chef in Georgia Southern’s Department of Catering, and Minton is the culinary arts coordinator in the University’s Department of Hotel and Restaurant Management.

Judging for the Best Bites Signature Dish Competition will take place on Monday, Feb. 26, and the winners will be announced at the festival.

There are a limited number of tickets remaining for the Feed the Mosasaur gourmet dinner that will be held on the evening of Friday, March 2. For a donation of $75 per person or $400 for a six-person table, guests can enjoy a five-course meal prepared by Minton.

Dubbed Cuisine Cum Laude, the gourmet dinner will feature French food, wine and cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and live music.

The Nessmith-Lane Continuing Education Building is located on the Georgia Southern campus at the corner of Chandler Road and Plant Drive. For more information on the Feed the Mosasaur Festival, or to register for the gourmet dinner or any of the cooking classes, visit http://ceps.georgiasouthern.edu/museum/ftm/ , email jhendrix@georgiasouthern.edu or call (912) 681-5993.

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