Do I look serious?
Actually, I think it was the only time during the entire competition I wasn't smiling!! I had the best time EVER!!!
I reunited with fellow foodies from last year, and I was honored to meet new foodies that even though I have talked to online, I had not met till this past Saturday. It was a love fest, literally - all around!!
Let me tell you a little bit about the competition and then on to the pictures and the fabulous GIVEAWAY!!
There are 9 finalists for the Sugardale BAC-ON competition. Three (3) in each category. The three (3) categories are; Appetizers/Entertaining, Ready Bacon & Entree
All three (3) of the finalists from each category compete with each other. There is a "category winner", and then they move on to the grand finals. This is where the winners from each category compete against each other. That is how the grand champion is chosen.
So if you are a winner in your category, you have to make your dish twice (2x). Once for your own category, and then again for the finals.
Makes for a long day... but ultimately your a winner nevertheless!!
I was a winner in more ways than just winning my category. As said above, I reunited with my foodie friends, and met new ones!! Plus we had a ball interacting with celebrity chefs and samples and demos and freebies... I COULD OF CAMPED OUT THERE, seriously, no problem!!
We saw Guy Fieri, Ann Burrell, Jeff Mauro and a few other celebrity chefs to which honestly their names escape me. We did not see Michael Symon, he wasn't there on Saturday "darn it all"... I had an extra stash of DROOL FACTOR stored up just for him!!!
I do have to tell you though, Marina (my ROCK STAR ASSISTANT AND SOUS CHEF) and I were clearing out our area at the end of the competition. We both had our hands full and we turn around, Marina kept walking and I FROZE IN PLACE!!! Who is standing less than 5ft from me?? KNOW I'M NOT JOKIN!!!
Sara Moulton!!! She was having makeup applied, and was getting ready to go onstage, the same one I just got off from!!
The look of pure SHOCK on my face, literally caused to her first giggle, and then she waved at me!! I was still frozen, and she could tell I was torn in asking for a pic. She was as sweet as sweet can be (so petite and pretty), and was getting ready to talk to me and call me over, I could see it in her face. Her "assistant" had other plans though, she turned her around and looked back and literally glared at me!
To which I did the only thing I could do with my hands full... I stuck my tongue out at the assistant and glared back, and then proceeded to walk away!! Yes, yes I did. I know childish...
I actually felt like stomping my feet, dropping the boxes and running back over. I didn't though, I stopped myself, even though I kept looking back!! Sarah Moulton is one of my original idols!! Her and EMERIL!!!
So, are we ready for some pictures??
We were so excited as we were pulling up
It's actually and old airplane hanger, revamped..
Marina and I just arriving outside
When you first walked in... and yes that is a "real car"
Marina and I backstage getting ready to prep... first thing we did was pull out our canister of Clorox wipes, I'm teaching her right I say!!
Our categories were getting ready, and where were we??
Left to Right: Sherri Williams, Didi Dalaba & Merry Graham
Left to right: Jeanette Nelson, Sherri Williams, Didi Dalaba, Kim Biegacki
Okay... back to the competition!!
Me on stage
Being asked a zillion questions...
Were getting ready for the showdown
Their keeping us in anticipation
OMG, I WON!!!!! Can you tell I'm about to burst out crying??
Tahini Chicken Bacon Bites prior to cooking...
Round two!! I was next to the judges this time, ugh....
Notice my gloves? Brought a whole box and shared with everyone!!
Final showdown!!! Brandi won!! YOOOHOOOOOO
She has participated 3 yrs in a row, 3rd time is a charm, and so well deserved BRANDI!!! Your shrimp recipe rocked!!
The two (2) category winners and Bacon Grand Champion!!
AND JUST BECAUSE I HAD SO MUCH FUN, a fun pic of me after the competition... right before my BFF Kimmie R (from Cleveland, GO CLEVELAND)and I hit the wine tastings!!!
That being said, I would love to present you with a gift!!!
I have 10 coupons for free bacon that I would love to give you... plus a little extra lovin gift from me, think "chutney" my friends!!!
Yes, that is 10lbs of bacon and a little something, just because I LOVE YOU!!!
Trust me, I'm a lovie dovie person... I hug EVERYONE!!! Do you think it's the Greek in me?? Anyway, here is some very pertinent information.
1. Make sure that Sugardale Bacon is sold at your local stores. I would hate for you to "win" and find out that your local stores do not carry Sugardale products.
2. Have to be 18 yrs old or older and a resident of the USA to participate.
3. Five (5) chances to win.
Here is how you enter:
1. Leave a comment to this post telling me what you found most interesting or funny. Leave the comment with your first name, initial of your last name and the state that you are from. Tell me what you enjoy most about my blog.
That is entry #1
2. Like my page on Facebook: Leave me a separate comment stating as such.
3. Add me to your circles on Google +: Leave me a separate comment, stating as such.
4. Follow me on twitter: Leave me a separate comment stating as such.
5. Follow me on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/DishinwithDidi/
The winner will be drawn using "Randomizer.org" on November 18th and announced on November 19th. Just in time for the holidays!!
Imagine how many amazing delicacies you can make using 10lbs of bacon and the delicious unique gift from me?? You will be the rockin festive house to be sure!!!
These are what the winning Tahini Chicken Bacon Bites with Ancho Chili Blackberry Dipping Sauce look after cooking...
You can find my recipe and all the finalists recipes at the Sugardale Bacon website.
Till next time!!
Dishin with Didi