We’re back! And the 2013 World Food Championships in Las Vegas were awesome. A bit ago, I (hey- Colette here!) posted a pre-trip blog post about the WFC, so if you missed that, take a look real quick and catch up on the event details. Suzie “Saucy Mama” Barhyte and her darling friend Patricia were able to join me on the adventure, as we supported our sponsored Saucy Lady, Christie from Zestuous. We had a blast!
I arrived into Vegas early on Thursday morning…thankfully I was just in time to meet Christie before her sandwich competition began! I could tell immediately that the WFC arena atmosphere was lively with the camera crews fluttering about (this is going to be a short series on A&E in the spring!) and a sense of friendly -but fierce- competition lingering. The sandwich competitors had 90 minutes to make their signature dish, and Christie took a huge risk with her recipe as she decided to make her own bread. Yes – 90 minutes to make her own bread, from scratch, in the middle of Fremont Street. But with her skills and knowledge from her Parisian Le Cordon Bleu bread course and maybe a hint of luck from her great, great grandmother’s bread board, Christie’s French baguettes turned out incredibly delicious (I was lucky enough to sample!). The warm, sunshiny Las Vegas day also proved to be helpful conditions for bread making.
Almost everything on Christie’s sandwich, a Grilled Bacon Drippings Filet Baguette with Saucy Mama Horseradish Bacon and Asparagus Slaw (recipe coming soon!), was made from scratch, including her own mayo and red wine vinaigrette. She used our Scovie-Award winning Saucy Mama Creamy Horseradish to give it a kick, and we thought it rocked! The camera crew was all over Christie as they continued to check on the status of her bread…we hope she’ll get some screen time when the show airs!
As the turn-in window opened for judging, this Zestuous sandwich looked fabulous and tasted amazing. But there was only a quick five minute break before the second sandwich round began. This time, the sandwich recipe had to be some sort of grilled cheese. Christie played off a popular restaurant menu item – truffle fries – and made her own Truffled Fonteenies with Saucy Mama Dijon Mustard, even serving them in a cute little cone just how the pros do it! These were simple, yet delicious, and the judges thought so too. This recipe placed 5th in the category.
Each night of the WFC brought a televised awards show right on the Fremont Street Experience stage, and the crowd was full of contestants, their friends and family, and the public. Waiting for the award announcements was intense! Although Christie did not make the finals this year, she did place 16th out of 31 competitors, and we couldn’t be more proud of her. This was her first live competition (she was a sous chef for finalist Ally Phillips last year), and we know she’ll be back with fire next year!
Christie’s “roomie” at the WFC - Beth Peterson - ended up winning first place in the recipe category with an awesome spicy Asian-inspired bison soup. Her sous chefs for the event, Gail and Vita, are very talented gals…not to mention, lots of fun!
Suzie and I met so many wonderful ladies and gents during this trip. We were excited to meet, in person, one of our very own Saucy Mama contest winners – Merry Graham - who was 1st place in the sandwich round finals. Remember her amazing Tarragon Mustard Hot Link Spirals with Saucy Mama Mascarpone?! SO delicious.
We met some other awesome Saucy Mama competitors – Laurie Lufkin and Jennifer Daskevich. Jennifer won the sandwich category and her “winning” reaction is caught in our highlights video below (see about 2:40). We also met so many other amazing foodies – from “Dr. BBQ” Ray Lampe to “BasilMomma” Heather Tallman and Food Network’s Ben Vaughn, we’re so excited about the new friendships we’ve formed over food. We have a feeling we’ll be back next year…
Stay tuned for more photos and a special video of our Christie doing her cookin’ thing! Below is our Saucy Mama highlights video from the event- check it out!