Greens cook-off raises money for Hosea Feed the Hungry

Think you can throw down with some mean collard greens?

The Second Annual Collard Greens Cook-Off will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the East Lake Farmers Market, on the corner of Second Avenue S.E. and Hosea L. Williams Drive. The event benefits the Hosea Feed the Hungry & Homeless.

The contest is open to those who think they can cook good collards and those who know they can.

What's at stake? For the top cooks in three categories there's a $100 prize and certificate for the top amateur; a champion plaque and bragging rights for restaurants in the professional category; and a trophy for the People's Choice Award winner.

The entry fee is $25, but cooks must be prepared to dish out a minimum of 200, one-ounce servings, which, for those who measure in other ways, means "12 to 13 lbs of greens depending on the ingredients and how the greens are cut or torn," according to the event sponsors -- the East Lake Farmers Market. Attendees who want to sample have to pay a $10 donation to HFTH.

Cooking can be done off-site but the greens have to be at a safe serving temperature. You may use your mother's secret recipe but you have to clearly label greens that use hot spices, pork or "common allergens".

And those who think they can bring the fire have to be prepared to put it out. Among the safety requirements -- each team must bring its own fire extinguisher.

For information or to register go to www.elfmarket.org. Registration ends at close of business Thursday.