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Rice ball earns top honors in expo recipe contest

By Ryan McGeeney
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture 

Fast Facts:

  • Top three winners chosen from 10 finalists across the state
  • “Rice ball” a unique entry, organizer says  

(192 words)  

STUTTGART — A panel of three local celebrity judges chose a Lincoln County woman’s rice recipe as their top winner from 10 finalists competing in the 2015 Arkansas Rice Expo rice recipe contest last week. 

Carolyn Wynn took the top honors with her rice cheeseball. Karen Kirkpatrick of Clark County won 2nd place with a dish named “Karen’s Brunch Sausage Casserole,” and Sharon Traylor of Union County won 3rd place with a dish called “Early Spanish Rice.” 

Dianna Bowen, family consumer science agent for the Lonoke County Cooperative Extension Service office, said judging between the 10 final entries — which were chosen from an initial field of 15 — was “very close.” 

“The recipes were very good this year,” Bowen said. “The winning recipe, a rice cheeseball, was something many of us involved with the contest had never seen before, and it was delicious.” 

The panel of judges included KTHV station meteorologist Meredith Mitchell, former Stuttgart Daily Leader editor Stephanie Fischer Prislovsky and Sync Magazine food critic Steve Shuler. 

“The top dishes all featured creative ways to use rice while still keeping good taste in mind,” Shuler said. “We saw rice used in ways we'd never seen before, and the final products were impressive.”


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The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.


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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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