Thursday, July 1, 2010

Real Women of Philadelphia Contest Hosted By Paula Deen

Last night I had the pleasure of going to the Lucas Theater to watch Paula Deen announce the winners of the Real Women of Philadelphia Contest. This contest, sponsored by Kraft, was an on-line competition hosted by Paula Deen looking for women across the country to submit their recipes, all using Philadelphia Cream Cheese. There were four groups of women last night in which Paula was announcing the winner from each group. Each winner was chosen by Ms. Deen along with an expert panel that consisted of the infamous Aunt Peggy, Robin Ross (Group Manager at Kraft's Culinary Center of Excellence), and Lori Lange (
The evening began with a very amusing introduction by Paula Deen talking about how she got her big break thanks to having self published a cookbook and the help of a good rain storm. I have to say, she came across as so warm and likable with a wicked sense of humor. The audience was in fits of laughter at her self-effacing and witty humor.
During the introduction, I spotted none other than Paula's Michael in the middle balcony. If you look hard you can see his trademark beard. It was so cute seeing him sitting in a prime location looking on at his beloved Paula.
The first round brought us the four finalists in the Side Dish category.
The winning dish was Mandy Heaston of Seattle with her recipe for Asparagus and Parmesan Cream Pastry.
Next up were the four Appetizer finalists.
The winner of this category was Caryn Ross of Oklahoma City with her Sassy Tailgate Sandwiches. These cute little ham & cheese sandwiches looked like a fun staple perfect for not only tailgate parties but picnics too.
At one point of the evening, much to Paula's surprised, she was joined on stage by a group of the "Real Women of Philadelphia" for an energetic performance that she jumped right into join in. Let me tell you, she might catch a lot of flak about eating a ton of butter but that lady can shake her money maker with the best of them - and did!
Round three brought us the four finalist in the Entree category.
Sheila Cutchlow of Washington, D.C. was the winner of the Entree category with her Joy Bundles and Rice. Upon being presented with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, she was greeted on stage by her beautiful daughter. It was so moving to witness their genuine joy at winning along with their strong bond. I have to say this left me a little choked up.
Last but not least were the four Dessert finalists with their sublime submissions.
Winning with her recipe for French Apple Cake, KC Quaretti Lee of Venice, Florida took the cake in the dessert category. Being a Sarasota girl with family in Venice, I was secretly pleased to see KC take the title.
All in all it was an amazing night. The recipes looked superb and I'm sure it was a very tough deciding on a winner from each category from so many fantastic dishes. Each of the winners receives the opportunity to create a cookbook with Paula Deen along with $25,000 cash. Not bad, eh? The projected didn't end last night either. Starting in July, we can submit our recipes to be included in this cookbook! Keep an eye on this page or Paula on Facebook for upcoming information on how to submit.

1 comment:

Maggie Campbell said...

Dear Paula, Don't let this awful mishap get you down. Some people are just evil. I love you and your show . Also have your cookbook.Hang in there and I pray for you to our Lord and Savior.
Love, Maggie Campbell