Prepare your stomachs to Loaf Off

Meatloaf samples I ingested last year.

I’m pretty sure I should just not eat again until Saturday.

That’s the only way my stomach will be prepared for the job it’s been assigned at this year’s fourth annual Loaf Off, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at The Anchor, 1109 E. Douglas.

The event is a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Kansas.

I’m one of three meatloaf judges, serving on a panel that also includes local foodie Joe Stumpe and his wife, Eagle biz columnist Carrie Rengers. As of the other day, there were 12 entries, and we have to sample them all to find the best.

Fashion maven Bonnie Bing will be there, too, but her job is picking the booth with the best appearance. (She loves meatloaf, too, for the record.)

My co-judge, Joe Stumpe. He's smiling because he hasn't eaten all that loaf yet.

Spectators are allowed to attend, observe and sample right along with us. Admission for spectator tasters is $10 for adults and $5 for kids ages 5 to 12. The Anchor will offer side dishes as well.

It was hard to choose a winner last year, but we finally settled on the loaf cooked by Don Lucero, the head chef at Via Christi Hospital on East Harry.  He created his loaf in an angel food cake pan, stuffing it in the center with all sorts of cheesy goodness. (I found last year that I prefer any loaf that includes bacon and cheesy goodness.) I heard that Don will return on Saturday to defend his title.

Will you join us?