Many people may not know that Chandler has one of the most unique culinary events in the state. For seven years, the Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook-off has attracted slow-cook fans, outdoor cooking enthusiasts, western history buffs and locals who enjoy a family friendly event in the Fall. This year’s event is going to be even better with two days of activities, Friday, November 11, and Saturday, November 12, at Tumbleweed Ranch, located at Germann and McQueen, in Tumbleweed Park.
The main attraction at this event is the food. Authentic 1880s chuck wagons, like those that would have provided food provisions for cowboys on a cattle drive, compete using slow-cook, wood-fire methods in dutch ovens. Using their unique recipes, the wagons compete to see who has the best beef, bread, beans, potatoes and dessert. The competition is fierce and the result is delicious food. People from across the country and Arizona come to the event for the chance to get a taste of one, two or even three of the five-course plates created by the wagon teams.
Each competing wagon makes enough food to serve up 50 meals so tickets for these delicious vittles are limited. The competition is on Saturday, November 12, with $15 tickets going on sale that day at 10 a.m. Attendees start lining up for tickets at 8:30 a.m.
Lunch is served at noon on Saturday, so visitors have the opportunity to explore Tumbleweed Ranch, an outdoor learning environment run by Chandler Museum. There is live music, cooking demonstrations, storytellers, historic home tours, rides to the Railway Museum, artisan vendors, and activities for youth.
On Friday, November 11, everyone is welcome to spend Veterans’ Day at the Chuck Wagon Cook-Off with a tribute to our veterans in the morning, cooking demonstrations, small plate samples from the chuck wagons and a Junior Cook-Off competition at 10 a.m. There will be live music all day and an evening campfire glow, complete with s’mores, 6 – 8 p.m.
“We are incredibly proud of this signature event that brings people to our beautiful City,” says Jody Crago, Administrator at Chandler Museum. “Everyone should come out and experience a taste of the Wild West.”
This event is presented by Chandler Museum and Pardners of Tumbleweed Ranch. Admission to the event is free and meal tickets cost $15 for a five-course meal. Meal tickets go on sale November 12, at 10 a.m., with lunch served at 12 p.m. Come early because tickets sell out fast!
Tumbleweed Ranch is located at Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Road, in the southeast corner of the park.