Last week at this time I was at the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, at the Peabody Hotel. It's taken awhile to sort out what I wanted to share on my blog. So many seminars, demonstrations, experiences, interesting people and yes, food! all packed into just a few days.
|Who's got the bigger tummy from sampling all the contest entries?|
|The Scottish salmon served at our dinner at Luma, a well-known restaurant in Winter Park (where the locals eat, according to Heather McPherson, the Orlando Sentinenel's food editor).|
|It was fun seeing Kelsey again and hearing that she's hosting a new show, "The Perfect Three," as well as "Kelsey's Essentials." And she will be appearing on "Chopped!" as well.|
|Kelsey's husband, Robby Egan, was celebrating his birthday — a great time for a trip to Florida and hanging out at the pool, then taste-testing some Bake-Off entries.|
Some of the up-and-coming flavors they mentioned include red tea (a caffeine-free product of South Africa), grapefruit with red pepper, Meyer lemon, dill, sweet soy with tamarind and black pepper, and harissa. We'll see....
We enjoyed a cooking demo from chef Jeff Henderson, whose show. "The Chef Jeff Project," is on the Food Network. He served nearly ten years in prison for drugs. While on pots-and-pans duty, he found a passion for cooking. When he got out of jail, he worked started at the bottom and worked his way up to becoming the first Africa-American named "Chef De Cuisine" at Caesars Palace. He was also executive chef at Café Bellagio.
He told his story in a New York Times Bestseller, "COOKED," (William Morrow, February 2007), and is being made into a movie.
Henderson's Food Network show takes six at-risk kids and puts them to work in his catering store in an effort to turn their lives around.
At this seminar, Henderson represented GE, which is gearing some of its appliances towards men. Their research discovered that more men are getting into the kitchen. The recession put a lot of men out of work, so many are taking care of the household while their spouses are working. As you can guess, these new stoves and refrigerators have more bells and whistles. There are some pretty cool features. But somehow, I can't quite picture an out-of-work husband whining for a new tri-ring burner range, double oven, or a snazzy french-door refrigerator that dispenses both hot and cold water.