Here we go… we’ve been summoned to appear in the cold, snowy tundra of Wisconsin for our annual trek to prepare our minds, bodies & souls for the 2012 spring show season. This is a special time to shine amongst our peers, but this time a new challenge has been issued: An all-out culinary throw down!
With the nine Culinary Specialists broken into three groups to do battle, we all knew this would be a friendly contest of our culinary skills and food prowess. Team building aside, our competitive nature took over and we were in it to win it. The challenge: comprise a menu of appetizers, entrees and desserts utilizing our spring national sponsors and staying within a $100 spending limit.
We quickly worked to create menus and purchase food with wonderful dialogue, sharing of ideas and a strong desire to WIN! Furthermore, I believe we all grew closer as a team that day, and even more, friendships blossomed through this activity.
We created unique menu items such as a Monte Cristo inspired dessert comprised of strawberries, basil and mascarpone cheese sandwiched between Original Stonefire Naan and finished with a drizzle of honey & confectioners’ sugar. From our friends at Gallo we had chilled Moscato shooters with frozen grapes and a chocolate chaser followed closely by a huge platter of Italian nachos, crumbled Johnsonville sweet Italian sausage, Ortega taco chips, basil lime guacamole dusted with parmesan and finished with dollops of fresh sour cream. Wow!
What could be better? From looks, taste, presentation and the shear compassion of knowing you’re playing on a team that gets it…we really get it. I’m proud to say I’m a Culinary Specialist, working with the best group of winners I’ve ever been associated with.
Go to TasteofHome.com to find a show near you and come see what real inspiration looks like! Here are some more pictures from our competition. Bon Apetit!