July 25, 2013

Something was cooking in Parshall

Something was cooking in Parshall
Hundreds attend oilfield event
By Jerry W. Kram
If you were near the Parshall High School last Thursday afternoon and were still hungry when you went home, well, it was your own fault.
Twenty oil companies joined together in nine teams to offer everything from shrimp scampi and jambalaya to brisket and chipotle corn on the cob to deep fried Oreo cookies at the fifth annual Bakken Cookfest.
The day started with educational talks, called Bakken Basics, about the oil production in the Bakken in the Parshall High School Gymnasium while the teams got their food ready in the street outside. Before long, delicious odors were filling the air as a hungry crowd gathered to sample tasty grub that ranged from down-home to gourmet.
The Cookfest is sponsored by the North Dakota Petroleum Council. Tessa Sandstrom, communications manager for the NDPC, said the industry hosts the event in two communities affected by oil development every year. This year the first Cookfest was held in Power Lake on July 16, and the second was held in Parshall.
“It also gives the industry a little face time with the community,” Sandstrom said. “It’s a fun way to meet people and bring us all together.”
Sandstrom said the companies involved take the competition very seriously. Many drilling companies own cook cars that provide meals to workers at drill sites.
“They have their cooking down to a science,” Sandstrom said. “Some have smokers, others like to use charcoal, they get pretty serious about it. They get pretty serious about it and it gets bigger and bigger every year.”
The teams are made up of a drilling company and an oilfield service company. Two of the teams included three companies. The food was judged by a panel of local community leaders and also voted on by the public. The judges picked the team of XTO Energy and Nabors Drilling who offered a New Orleans inspired menu of scampi shrimp, jambalya, and shrimp etouffee with bread pudding and rum sauce for dessert. The Peoples’ Choice Award was awarded to the team of EOG Resources and MBI Energy Services who seduce the crowd with deep fried Oreo cookies.

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