WINNER OF SIDE DISH CATEGORY - WORLD FOOD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012
I grew up in a small Italian community in East Haven, Conn. My attributes of Italian heritage and food being a constant, ubiquitous staple throughout my life as the driving force behind my love of cooking and food. Together with Mike, my husband, we raised four children in a house that embraced food. I incorporated into their everyday activities, from picking fruit to experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen. While some people call cooking an "art," I call it "therapy." My kitchen was a place I can escape into my own little world of peace.
I qualified for the World Food Championships by winning grand prize in a Just a Pinch online qualification contest. I used the same Potato Cobb Salad that would eventually be featured as one of my two dishes at the WFC Final Table.
Relatively new to the competition cooking scene, I entered my first recipe contest two years ago. From there, I went on to audition for the hit Fox cooking show "MasterChef, not making it very far. That experience was enough to encourage me to start my own recipe blog (worldclasscooking.blogspot.com) and push myself to challenge my culinary creations. I also created this blog to record my special recipes, especially so my children would be able to access them whenever they wanted to.
At the World Food Championships, my two dishes were Cobb Potato Salad and a Creamed Broccoli Cheese Soup. The Cobb Potato Salad included my original mayonnaise-based dressing with red skin potatoes, topped with turkey, bacon, avocado, egg, tomato, bleu cheese and scallions. The Creamed Broccoli Cheese Soup had sautéed broccoli, parsnips, celery and garlic that was pureed for creaminess, add in Philadelphia® Cream Cheese, chicken broth and Kraft® Velveeta and finished off with roasted cauliflower as a garnish and drizzled with sweet chili sauce.
While I have created hundreds of different recipes, my recipe for success boils down to hard work, ambition and an undying love for food.
Winning the title of the "Side Dish" Category has been such a great honor. I thank everyone from World Food Championships, family and friends for all the encouraging support and great future opportunities.