UPDATE 9/4/09: I found out tonight that Food Network is not going to tape and air this year’s Build A Better Burger contest. I am dissapointed – of course I wanted to see myself on my favorite TV station but I’m also dissapointed for BBB. This is a huge competition that gives every home cook the chance to participate – and what’s more American than a burger? I hope that next year a big netowrk picks up the contest.
Can you tell I’m excited??!!???
Yes, it’s true! I am a finalist in the Build a Better Burger alternative burger category, one of America’s biggest and most prestigious cooking competitions. I’ve been dying to tell you but have been sworn to secrecy since August 19th.
Sutter Home announced the finalists yesterday on their website, along with the winning recipes. I created the Farmer’s Market Burger with Grilled Red Onion Relish and Peppered Tomato Mayonnaise. They even put my picture at the bottom of my recipe…and it will be available on the Sutter Home website for years to come.
I’m going to be competing for $10,000 on Saturday, September 26th in Napa Valley at Sutter Home Winery. And, I’m going to be on Food Network!!
I’m still in shock.
Joe and I love to watch Food Network Challenge. Every time a Bulid a Better Burger was on, Joe would say – “Honey, you could win that competition.” I’d tell him I wasn’t so sure. He persisted so I started working on a recipe to submit anyway.
I worked on my recipe for months. I’d cook it, we’d try it, talk about what worked and what didn’t, and then cook it again. And again. And again. In the end, I must have come up with one heck of a burger because in less than a month Joe and I are being flown to California.
As if being part of the competition wasn’t a big enough honor, there are so many other perks:
- We get to stay in Sutter Home’s Victorian Inn, which is by invitation only.
- There is a reception dinner on Friday night.
- All expenses are paid.
- We get to meet so many big names in the culinary industry.
The part I’m most excited about, though, is watching myself cook on Food Network Challenge re-runs! I’ll be able to sit in my own house and watch myself on t.v. I can hardly wait!!
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be practicing my grilling skills and making burgers like crazy. It’s going to be a whirlwind but I’m most definitely up for it.
To address the gluten-free issue – the recipe is written in a way that is inclusive – that means that you can choose to use gluten-free products or not. I use gluten-free bread crumbs when I make this burger. As far as the bun goes, I either put it on gluten-free bread or eat it breadless – my favorite way to eat it. I rarely cook out of a gluten-free cookbook. Good food is good food. I find great recipes that I want to share with friends and family, and then make them work for me. There was a time in my life when I let my dietary needs stop me from living fully. Not anymore.
I talked to my niece, Allie, today and told her my big news. She was so excited for me, but more importantly I got to tell her that I’ve entered contest after contest and have never won anything. We were able to talk about holding on to your dreams and not giving up, even when it looks like you’re not making progress, even when you think you’ve failed. The only real failure is quitting.
If it wasn’t for my husband’s undying love and support, I would have never entered this contest. I’m not even sure I’d be cooking today. Joe has believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself. He really does make all my dreams come true.