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We Ask the Industry: What are Your Favorite Congress Eats?

Ask any seasoned veteran to describe the essence of the Congress, and they will most likely mention one of the many food vendors. From the Sweet Shop cinnamon rolls to the famous bourbon chicken, Congress food is a huge fan favorite for participants and spectators alike. So, whether you are an exhibitor, trainer, or just attending for shopping and sight-seeing, find time to experience these wonderful tastes. Here are some of the industry’s top exhibitors’ and trainers’ favorite Congress eats.

Tiina Volmer – It’s exciting to go to the Congress and anticipate the food that we eat for two weeks. The Congress is a family affair for ‘Tim the Trail Man,’ me and our boxers. To try to keep it a little healthier; Gucci, Bobbi Brown, Tim and I like the Bourbon chicken and rice. The apple dumplings and ice cream will be a treat when riding in the middle of the night. That will be shared with my horse, Rainman. We enjoy a wide variety of choices.

Adrienne Cober Dickerson –
No question…bourbon chicken.







Gentry Cherry – Chinese and the mini donut bucket.






Carey Nowacek –
Oh, I love ALL the food, but the Chinese food probably has to be my favorite.





Jerry Erickson –
The Sweet Shop cinnamon rolls.






Adam Parks – It would have to be the chicken and dumplings at The Sweet Shop. I can eat it morning, noon and night.






Reid Brock Thomas – We all love the gyro place.






Jamie Radebaugh Devoe –
The Sweet Shop cinnamon rolls are the best, especially with extra icing. I do also love the Stromboli’s.





Courtney Archer –
Hands down, without a doubt, favorite food at the Congress is the bourbon chicken. That’s always the first place we eat at as soon as we get to the Congress and once we do, it feels like the Congress has officially started for us.




Jessica Parris –
The Stromboli stand knows me by name. “Would you like butter with that?” Who says no to butter?






Meg DePalma-Whelan –
Bourbon Chicken! I probably eat it every other day. I loved when they had spicy rice too.



Bella Rosa –
My favorite food at the Congress is the bourbon chicken. The chicken and rice are always warm, which makes it so good when the weather is cold. We always buy a jar of the bourbon chicken sauce at the end of the show, so we can use it when we get home.


Kathryn deVries Mitchell –
Ms. Shirley’s Wonton Soup at Congress. I think I ate it every day this year.




Gerri Leigh Pratt –
I love the creme puffs at Schmidt’s. It’s the German Restaurant in the tent near the Coliseum at Congress.






Sarah Rosciti – Well, since I’m vegan, it can be hard to find food at shows. Right outside the Congress is a vegan bakery called Patty Cake. They make the best cinnamon rolls you’ve ever had.





Ann Wilson – “Congress Coffee” after showmanship every year – add Bailey’s, Kahlua and Amaretto, then top with whipped crème and a chocolate drizzle. Yum!



Whitney Vicars –
Gosh that’s a tough one because I’m a total foodie. Top two foods I get excited about when thinking of horse shows are Capp City Diner in Columbus, Ohio during Congress. All of their food is amazing, but my personal favorite is their Romano Crusted Chicken. Then, actually, on the fairgrounds, it would have to be the Sweet Shop Chocolate Chip Cookies, a guilty pleasure. I can’t pass up their soft gooey yumminess, hands down my favorite cookie ever.


Most people think of pumpkin lattes, Halloween, and sweaters when they envision fall, but we equestrians think of Congress. One of the significant components of this is food. Everything from the Stromboli, bourbon chicken, cinnamon rolls, pizza, etc. help to create a sense of Congress. Be sure to try something new this year if you attend the show; you will not be disappointed.

About the Author: Cat Guenther is a devout equestrian and a freshman at Michigan State University. She has been riding horses for almost ten years and has loved every minute of it. Cat started and runs her successful show clothing business, Behind the Bit Show Clothing. She loves to show the all-around classes with her beloved horse, Zippos Kat Man Do, aka Teddy. Her favorite classes are horsemanship, showmanship, and trail. She is currently on a Pre-Veterinary track and hopes to also study business.