A winning recipe needs a cup creativity, a sprinkle of fun, and a pinch of luck! The very first cooking contest I ever competed in was the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest — it’s a little slice of Americana and I am grateful to have been a part of it three times in a row. It was the Bake-Off Contest that was the start of a hobby that has afforded me so many amazing experiences. One of the highlights was the opportunity to represent the USA in Seoul, South Korea in a contest that brought together contestants from 22 different countries on 6 continents.
I’ve cooked on the Vegas strip, at Lincoln Park, and in a wine vineyard. Chatted about the virtues of orange zest with Martha Stewart as I whipped up a winning recipe. Been judged by Top Chefs and Master Chefs. Won and lost but always had a great time. The best part? The friendships I’ve made along the way.
If you’re interested in cooking contests but not sure where to start, check out Cooking Contest Central. There you’ll find contests lists conveniently located in one spot, a supportive community forum of like-minded friends, and special member’s only content.
- Colavita Olive Oil “Better Than Butter” contest, Grand Prize Winner, trip to Italy and year’s supply of Colavita Olive Oil, “Chocolate Covered Cherry Pistachio Cookies,” February, 2014
- Tobasco and Hidden Valley Ranch “Dip Envy” contest, Grand Prize Winner, cash prize, “Green with Envy Chicken ’n Ranch Guacamole,” January, 2014
- Kellogg “Eggo Waffle Off” contest, Grand Prize Winner, cash prize and year’s supply of Eggo Waffles, “Chocolate Kissed Mini Eggo S’Mores,” December, 2013
- 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest finalist, Las Vegas, Nevada, Finalist, “Heavenly Hazelnut Torte with Mascarpone Cream,” November, 2013
- Beringer Great Steak Challenge, Finalist, Napa, CA, 2nd place, cash prize, “Rosemary Scented Beef Tenderloin Skewers with Cabernet-Shallot Jam and Grilled Brussels Slaw,” October 2012
- Mezzetta “Picture Perfect Pizza Contest,” Grand Prize Winner, all-expenses paid trip to Italy, “Santorini Sunset,” May, 2012
- 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest finalist, Orlando, Florida, Finalist and Winner of the Eagle Brand Signature Award, cash prize, “Orange Cream-Macadamia Torte,” March, 2012
- Better Homes and Gardens” and Weber Grill’s “Chill & Grill” Contest,” title of BHG’s Next Great Griller, cash prize, a Weber® Summit® S-670™ gas grill, a feature in “Better Homes and Gardens” magazine, and an appearance on Better TV, “Rustic Italian Marketplace Burgers with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, Herb Salad, and Baked-on-the-Grill Buns,” May, 2011
- LG “Life Tastes Good” Global Challenge, Seoul, Korea, “Infinite Taste of Seoul” Award, set of fine Korean bone china, “Orange Scented Lamb Skewers with Watercress & Roasted Fig Salad and Baked Goat Cheese Crisps,” October, 2010
- National Oyster Cook-Off, finalist, St. Mary’s County, Maryland, cash prize, “Rustic Seaside Oyster, Heirloom Tomato, and Goat Cheese Tart,” October 2010
- LG/Food and Wine “Life Tastes Good” Championship in Beverly Hills, California, Grand Prize Winner, suite of appliances and trip to Seoul, Korea to represent the United States in the Global Championship, “Orange Scented Lamb Skewers with Watercress & Roasted Fig Salad and Baked Goat Cheese Crisps,” September, 2010
- Aetna Healthy Food Fight, Finalist, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, “Asian Market Salad with Quinoa, Watercress, Roasted Mushrooms and Pineapple,” September, 2010
- Beringer Great Steak Challenge, Finalist, Washington, DC, “Honey Kissed Flat Iron Steak with Grilled Pineapple and Watercress Salad,” August, 2010
- 44th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest finalist, Orlando, Florida, Finalist, “Asian-Spiced Cashew Chicken Piadinis,” April, 2010
- Better Homes and Gardens magazine, “Better Homes and Gardens Renovation Challenge,” Best Bath Renovation, cash prize, September, 2008
- House Beautiful magazine, “MakeBeautiful” contest, Grand Prize Winner, kitchen and dining room makeover and magazine feature, February, 2007
- “Organic Gardening” magazine “Holiday Recipe Contest,” 1st place, set of Wustof Ikon knives, feature in the December2010/January 2011 “Organic Gardening” magazine, “Rosemary Kissed Cornmeal Shortcakes with Balsamic Strawberries & Heavenly Honey Cream“
- Pillsbury Monthly Challenge Contest, pie category Finalist, cash prize, “Easy One Skillet Chicken Pot Pie“
- Mix it Up with Betty Cookie Mix Contest, Honorable Mention, cash prize, “Mochachino Dessert Bars with White Chocolate Drizzle“
- Sur La Table Grilling Recipe Contest, Runner-Up Grilled Desserts, cash prize, “Rustic Dessert Pizzettes with Strawberries & Pignoli“