Do I have what it takes? World Food Championship 2016 Blogger Summit

UPDATE….so happy to report that I was chosen as one of the lucky bloggers to be chosen for this great adventure. Be sure to follow along, November is going to be one crazy fun time.

Here’s my story to winning a spot at the World Food Championship 2016 Bloggers Summit, an opportunity to learn, grow and connect.

Several years ago, I had a desire to begin a blog that would reflect my passion for cooking and entering cooking/recipe contests with hopes of inspiring others creative cooks and professional chefs to do the same. My food tastes are so wide but I would say that Mexican and Caribbean flavors are my favorite.

2014 WFC Seafood entry, Aloha Lava Fish Tacos

2014 WFC Seafood entry, Aloha Lava Fish Tacos

Traveling to over 10 different countries, staying in homes with people who do not speak English and learning how to cook their regional food as opened my world. While sharing stories about my travel on social media and the local newspaper, I was contacted by the Oregon State Fair to help them update their food competitions. In 2015 I volunteered my services and was able to host celebrity chefs on stage as well as do cooking demos myself. This year, I return to fill the stage with entertainment and fun.

I started The Prize of Cooking blog to record my recipes and experiences of competitive cooking. I would have never imagined what fun I would have in the first part of this journey. How many people can say that they have hosted a Food Network TV Celebrity in their home for several nights not just once but twice? (Last spring and now this summer) Simon Majumdar is not only a wonderful food critic, author and TV judge but now I call him my friend.

Food Network TV Celebrity Simon Majumdar with me and my husband

Food Network TV Celebrity Simon Majumdar with me and my husband

I have entered recipe/cooking contests off and on over the years. I have won small prizes but nothing compared to what I have been able to do in the last couple of years. In 2014 I won a Golden Ticket to the World Food Championship to compete in Seafood. I had never competed in a live cook-off. What a fabulous experience, meeting other food sport champs and watching top cooks doing their thing.

In 2015, I won Grand Champ recipe contest with Hormel Chili with my Smoked Short Rib Chili over Pappardelle. This win included another Golden Ticket to the World Food Championship as well as travel expenses. We cooked hard and placed 12th. Besides the regular cook-off, the WFC held a competition for chili called the People’s Choice. This is a coveted contest and pays cash prizes to the top winners. I am pleased to say we won 2nd in WFC People Choice Chili Competition. Our Adam’s Rib and the Bad Apple Chili was a hit.

Game Day Chef Challenge

Game Day Chef Challenge

Later in 2015, I was selected as a Northwest Regional Finalists in the Game Day Chef Challenge. What a huge honor to be 1 of 36 in the nation to compete. I submitted a recipe called Brew and Bleu Tator Cups with Hot Diggity Dog Wraps. Other great wins happened throughout the year, non greater or less than the other because each one if special and a stepping stone to the next. Even the losses are for growth.

2016 has been a year for learning and winning. Earlier in the year I won an Idaho Potato Commission recipe contest that awarded me with a complimentary ticket for my Salted Caramel Apple Dessert Poutine to the Sunday Supper Food Wine Conference for bloggers as well as a sweet gift card, nothing better than traveling at low costs to top notch events.

My Next Food Network friend, Miss Emily Ellyn was wonderful to open her home to me as I traveled to the conference in Florida. Anytime you can spend time with other foodies, bloggers and lovers of travel is a good day or should I say weekend.

The hunger to go back to the WFC in 2016 was stronger than ever. I entered the Saucy Mama recipe contest for a chance for a Golden Ticket and a wonderful travel package prize with my Orange Habenaro Coconut Shrimp Po Boy Lettuce Cups with Spicy Orange Slaw. I will be honest and say that I was a bit concerned about the contest and the high level of competitors I was up against. I was one of 25 from around the USA.  Happily, I can say that I was chosen as the Grand Champ of their recipe contest. So Orange Beach Alabama is on the calendar and I am back in the Seafood category!! More time in the kitchen to perfect a seafood dish to take me to the top! Hmm…shrimp, fish, crawfish, crab, what will it be?

How perfect would it be to spend time in Alabama before the cook-off, learning more about blogging, more about their local seafood and being certified as a EAT judge.  I am a competitor and would love to dip into the judging side as well. It all includes food, right?

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