ANNAPOLIS, Md. — People gathered in Annapolis to attend Gov. Hogan's annual "Buy Local Cookout." The event featured food and culture, but most importantly it gave people the chance to support local business.
"I think it's great. It's also nice to bring people together. Food always does that," said Kisha Washington, Maryland resident.
It was a joyous occasion as people put on their dancing shoes and grabbed a plate to sample local dishes. The goal of the cookout is to bring business back to the community and allow people to see the eateries Maryland has to offer.
"Everyone's been locked away for awhile so it's good to have an event where people can come together. I enjoy being down here in Annapolis. It gives us an opportunity to share our food and culture," said Gregory Brown, co-owner of the Land of Kush, Vegan Restaurant.
The local cookout also showcased a chefs competition, where people created a dish using local ingredients that included blue catfish or Maryland produce.
The winners of the competition, Gregory James, Chef of the Inn at Perry Cabin and Jonathan Hicks Chef at the Cozy Cafe received a special opportunity.
"This competition is gonna allow two competitors to go to the world food championship held in November in Dallas, Texas to get the opportunity to win $120,000," said Rich Linger Director of Operation Restaurant Association of Maryland.
Local chefs say, the real reward is for Marylanders to see you don't have to go far to experience great food.
"It's really about trying to convince people to buy local. It really helps the farmers and the people that work on the farms. It's a trickle down effect so spending money locally helps a lot of people and that helps our economy," said one person.
Organizers plan to make the local cookout bigger and better in the upcoming years.