Sherry Hill


Julie Balmer


 Austin Woman Wins National Beef Cook-Off’s® $25,000 Grand Prize

Abbie Argersinger’s Cali-Avocado Steak Salad

Receives Top Award at Metro Cooking Show in D.C.

Washington (Nov. 2, 2013) – It took just eight ingredients for home cook Abbie Argersinger of Austin to wow the judges and become the winner of the 2013 National® Beef Cook-Off contest, funded by the Beef Checkoff.

Argersinger’s Cali-Avocado Steak Salad – which included boneless beef top sirloin steak, olive oil, salt, pepper, a large navel orange, a fresh California avocado, naan bread and mixed salad greens – was announced as the $25,000 grand prize winner today at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show in Washington D.C.

“In Texas, it’s super-hot so we do a lot of protein on salads,” Argersinger said. “I just started with beef, then added a fruit and vegetable, then the avocado. After that, I really was just thinking about flavors that go together. And that’s how my recipe came to be.”

A panel of food-savvy judges consisting of food editors, writers and bloggers selected Argersinger’s recipe for its appearance, taste, nutritional balance, convenience and freshness. Entrants also were required to be amateurs, not professionals, and submit recipes designed to meet the tastes and techniques of the home cook while demonstrating the benefits and versatility of cooking with beef.

“The judges had a difficult time selecting this year’s grand prize winner because of the high quality and variety of recipes submitted,” said Evelyn Brown, Cook-Off Program Committee Chairman, for the American National CattleWomen, Inc., a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. “But the Cali-Avocado Steak Salad really rose to the top because of its unique yet appealing combination of ingredients.”

Argersinger’s recipe, along with other finalist recipes, will be demonstrated on the Food Lion cooking stage, at the DC Metro Cooking Show, by American National Cattlewomen and top chefs, including Chef Timothy Dean and Chef Michael Colletti.

This year’s contest theme was “Making the Most of MyPlate,” which encouraged delicious, healthy recipe entries from a variety of food groups. Recipes were accepted for the following categories:

  • Belt-Tightening Beef Recipes – Nutritious , affordable beef recipes that are great values to prepare
  • Semi-Homemade Beef Recipes – Recipes that combine beef and fresh ingredients with prepackaged food products
  • Real-Worldly, Real Simple Beef & Potato Recipes – Easy and nutritious lean beef and fresh potato recipes that feature international flavors
  • Craveable Fresh Beef & California Avocado Recipes – Easy, fresh lean beef and avocado recipes that highlight California cuisine or cooking trends

To enter a recipe, participants had to prepare a recipe that fit one of the contest categories and submit it online at Entries were accepted between January 15, 2013, and April 15, 2013.

Recipes then went through a rigorous judging process, with select recipes chosen to appear at the finalist’s judging table. This year’s judges included: Kristen Browning-Blas, food blogger of Colorado Table, editor and food editor for the Denver Post; Kathy Moore, food consultant, cookbook author and blogger of; Barbara Kiebel, recipe developer, writer and photographer,; and Leslie Green, food blogger of The Hungry Housewife and food contributor to Creative Loafing.

So how is Argersinger going to spend her $25,000 prize?

“We have been planning some upgrades to our kitchen anyway, so this will go toward that expense,” she said. “And to be honest, it’s likely we will have a home-cooked steak, lobster and wine dinner in our near future. Seems only right, right.

For a copy of Argersinger’s recipe as well as the other 2013 finalists, visit

About The Beef Checkoff Program

The Beef Checkoff Program ( was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval

About the Sponsors

The 2013 National Beef Cook-Off is sponsored by the Beef Checkoff Program, California Avocado Commission and United States Potato Board.

About the National Beef Cook-Off

The National Beef Cook-Off is a Beef Checkoff Program that began in 1974 as an annual contest and changed to a biennial contest in 1993. The Cook-Off is managed by the American National CattleWomen, Inc. During its 39 year history, the Cook-Off has received accolades and the support of many notable culinary experts. The National Beef Cook-Off is considered to be among the top three cooking contests in the nation. To view the complete contest rules and explore winning recipes from past contests, visit