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First annual world championship dove cook-off to be hosted Sept. 3 at Yuma Civic Center

Contestants to cook doves in any style for a panel of judges on Sat., Sept. 3, from noon to 5 p.m.

YUMA, Ariz. – The first annual World Championship Dove Cook-Off will be held at the City of Yuma’s Yuma Civic Center, 1440 W. Desert Hills Dr., from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3.

Teams of either two or three members may register for the contest online now, via the Yuma Visitors Bureau (YVB), located at 180 W. 1st Street, Suite D.  The public can access more information on the event or submit their registration forms/fees digitally at, the YVB website. Those interested in learning more information about Yuma Dove Hunting rules and regulations pertaining to this event may visit

A full listing of rules and regulations are available on the YVB website. The following is a brief description of the event as well as details pertaining to cook-off contest entries:

All plates submitted as part of the cook-off contest will be judged individually, in an effort to judge each on individual merit. All wild game must have been legally killed. The sale/offering for sale of any wild game is illegal and prohibited. Additionally, the lead cook in each team competing in the event will be required to show the meat is in proper condition and has been kept at 40 degrees or colder temperatures.

Teams will be required to cook the doves on site, in any style they choose, using their preferred cooking device or fuel. The dove meat may not be marinated prior to inspection for safety, and must be in a form recognizable as wild game until after the start of the competition. Teams planning on grinding wild game to be incorporated into a dish (such as a chili, etc.), must wait to grind the meat until after the start of the competition.

Booths, teams and meat will be inspected at 10:45 a.m. on the day of the cook-off. If the dove is not present and ready for inspection at that time, or if the meat is not recognizable as dove, the team will not be permitted to participate in the event.

Teams should plan to provide samples of the contest dishes for at least six judges. Additionally, small bite-size samples for the public are recommended (not required). Teams will not be required to provide the same cut of meat/dish to the public that they provide to the judges for the contest entry.

Other ingredients may be included in the dove dish they enter into the contest, so long as the meat is at least 80% dove and is prepared on site. Dishes such as stews, chili, casseroles, etc. are not excluded from the cook-off, given that they meet the previously noted requirements. Non-dove sauces, side dishes, etc., may be incorporated for taste using whatever ingredients the team chooses.

The First Annual World Championship Dove Cook-off will begin at noon. Teams will have three hours to cook and prepare their entries and side dishes. The judging portion of the competition will begin at 3 p.m. The panel of judges will score each team’s entrée based on: Taste, appearance, creativity, and unique use of dove.

Side dishes will be judged on: Taste, appearance, and how they pair with the entrée. That being said, side can be a variety of things, such as: bread, dessert, soups, rice, ice cream, etc.

Each team is to supply all of their own dove meat, fuel, cooking ingredients, cooking devices, utensils, serving dishes (for the public, as well) and tables. The teams will be given a cooking space and containers for the entrée samples and side dishes that will be presented to the panel of judges.

All contestants must adhere to all electrical, fire, sanitation and any other City of Yuma, Yuma County, State of Arizona and U.S. codes, rules and regulations. A sign identifying the team must be displayed in the cooking area. The event will take place outdoors, rain or shine, so teams are asked to consider bringing suitable shelter depending on the weather that day.

Teams may set up at the Yuma Civic Center between 9 and 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3. All equipment deliveries must take place within setup time. Each team will be required to have an appropriate fire extinguisher within their cooking area, which could be an ABC type or K type for deep frying.

After 10:45 a.m., no vehicles will be allowed within the contest area.

Vehicles will be allowed in the contest area once the cook-off has concluded, as announced by staff. All liability or risk for items left in the cooking area shall be assumed by contestants. The Cook-Off Committee, Dove Cook-Off, the City of Yuma and associated support disclaim any liability for items left in the cooking area.