As mentioned a few posts ago, I was far from diligent about updating this blog for the last year. And what makes that even stranger is that I had several really cool contest wins in 2015! I know, right? Me, NOT indulging in shameless self-promotion! I must have had a head injury!!!!!
Anyway, one of those wins was The Gilroy Garlic Festival. Now I don’t know about ALL contest cooks, but for me the holy trinity are The Pillsbury Bake-off with it’s $1,000,000 prize, The World Food Championship with it’s $100,000 prize, and The Gilroy Garlic Festival with it’s $5,000 prize.
OK, OK, The Gilroy prize seems positively anemic compared to the others. But the prestige of winning is almost unparalleled. Hundreds of people from all over the country enter recipes year after year in hopes of being chosen as one of 6 to compete head to head at the festival. So imagine my surprise when my first ever entry was chosen! And I was up against some serious competition. The 5 other women chosen to compete have enough trophies to fill a small airplane hangar.
My dish was, at it’s core, a spicy Israeli hangover breakfast called Shakshuka. Now, being The Bacon Babe, I certainly couldn’t NOT add my favorite pork product to the dish. Israeli or not, I was just gonna have to dodge that lighting bolt headed for my kitchen when I added the bacon. I even served it with a Bacon Bloody Mary (using Bacon salt, Bacon flavored vodka, and Bacon stir sticks).
Persian barbari bread soaked in garlic butter and baked for a golden crispiness & deep fried garlic cloves as the garnish helped seal the deal. And 2 hours later I was awarded 1st place, a crown of garlic, and a check for $5,000!
And the fun didn’t stop there! A few weeks later I was contacted by Family Circle Magazine, asking if they could add my Shakshuka recipe to their next Family Circle Hometown Cooking Cookbook. Are you kidding me???? You wanna publish my recipe? Heck yeah!!!!! And so, the final result showed up on my doorstep this morning.
Now excuse me while I go make room in my bookshelf next to Julia Child!