This weekend I had the privilege of going to the 3rd Annual World Cheese Dip Championship in Little Rock, AR. Even cooler is that I got to go as “media”. I had press passes for me and my photographer! We took this opportunity to have a little date. The girls don’t like cheese dip anyway.

It was a gorgeous day–maybe about five degrees warmer than I would have liked but lovely just the same.

The festival ran from 11AM-3PM. We got there a little after noon. After asking around about what the procedure was for sampling the dips, we were told to get ourselves a bag of chips. We stood in the line for a while. When we reached the front, all they had left was crumbs. The folks at the chip booth assured us that chips were on the way. Since we were next in line to receive chips, we decided to wait for their arrival.

Hooray! The chips are here! It really was not too long of a wait. At least we had shade!

Let the tasting begin!

There were two categories–professional and amateur.

Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro had a very cute booth, complete with chandelier. Their dip was pretty good. It was a little heavy on the cilantro for my taste. ANY cilantro is just about too much cilantro for my taste. Plus they served their dip cold. I prefer my cheese dip warm.

Moe’s Southwest Grill had some tasty dip. It was a little salty. That might have been the chips though. They passed out coupons for their restaurant, nothing like a little bribery.

I have to say I was a little disappointed in Stoby’s. I LOVE Stoby’s. However, I am used to their yellow cheese dip. At this event they were only passing out samples the white. I didn’t care for it as much.

Who should I see at the Dogtown booth but my friend Becky from high school! She made the booth all cute! Becky is a great decorator/designer. She has been featured in  At Home in Arkansas magazine. I’m sure she has a long list of credentials. I’m still waiting for her to just get on Facebook.

She and her husband Kevin were there trying to help the reigning champion reclaim his title!

The dip was good, lots of cumin.

I took my Pork Chop Tuesday bag as my purse. I guess I am guilty of a little shameless self-promotion.

You could definitely spot the folks who had been to the festival in the past. They came prepared for the task of cheese dip juggling. A simple muffin tin made a nice carrier.

I forgot to take a count of just how many booths there were there for the contest.

We tasted them all–all but one– dum, dum, dum. (okay, that was supposed to sound like dramatic “who done it” music!)

This guy…

He did have a nice display of colorful peppers.

We knew, however, once we smelled his dip, there was no way we were eating it. It hurt our throats just to smell it! Call me a chicken if you want, but I didn’t want to eat anything with a ghost pepper in it!

Our sampling continued. Some were better than others. Some seemed like they had been watered down a bit. There was one that, I promise, to me, tasted like hot dogs. Some had meat; others had spinach.

There was one competitor from Austin, TX that had some very–different dip. I later found out that their cheese dip had Parmesan cheese, raisins, capers, and cranberries. Not my favorite.

My vote went to these guys…

They had very yummy dip, in addition to a fun booth.

Here are the official results:

2012 World Cheese Dip Championship Award Winners


Best booth design:

Most Innovative:
Papi Tino’s (Austin, Tx) (w/ Parmesan, raisins, capers, cranberries)

People’s Champion:
Mitchell Williams Law Firm (Amateur)
Dizzy’s (Professional)

Little Dipper (Second Prize):
UAMS (Amateur)
US Pizza (Professional)

Big Dipper (Grand Prize):
Concheeztadors (Amateur Division)
Dizzy’s (Professional)

You can go here to see what the awards were if you are curious.

A big thanks to my photographer hubby! You can see more of his work at Chip Bayer Photography.

A big thanks to John, the head cheese dip,  for the press passes!