Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cooking Contests

by Hayley Snow from the Key West food critic mysteries by Lucy Burdette

I don't know if you characters get this way, but whenever we are close to a new book launching, I feel so excited that I could pop! I keep wanting to tell the story to all my friends, but my writer likes to keep some things quiet until the launch day. 

But she did agree I could tell you a little about the TOPPED CHEF contest. And besides--shhhh--she's so busy writing the next book she'll never have time to look this over. (By the way, this is her, Lucy, when she and her husband volunteered at the Duval Uncorked event a couple of years ago. Naturally she made this into a scene in the book.)

Have you ever entered a cooking contest? Or judged one? Me neither, and to tell you the truth, I never wanted to:). But when my boss at Key Zest says jump, I do it. I love this job so much, I'd do anything to keep it. And that is why I ended up tasting some really odd dishes, like a mojito in the form of a jelly sphere. And a spicy lobster on a bed of edible sand.  

The one thing I do love about the contest is the kitchen where it takes place. I would die for this sweet little kitchen...well, not really--you know what I mean. If you look at the book cover, you can see that this kitchen is right in the middle!

  I keep thinking about what I'd make if I was competing. Something with shrimp probably, like the pasta I make with spinach and cashews. Or is that too boring? After all, everyone makes pasta. Maybe dessert? What's not to love about strawberry cream pie with a chocolate crust? Or should it be something more "serious" to be a real contender? 

What would you make for your signature dish if you were entering a contest?

And in case I didn't already say it, TOPPED CHEF will be out on May 7--and it can be preordered now!


  1. My signature dish would have to be my cherry cheese cake that I just learned how to make. It's so good and everyone thinks it's delicious. Every time a birthday or special occasion rolls around I find my self making it again.

  2. Ohhhh, cherry cheesecake sounds spectacular! Isn't it great fun when you try something new that turns out to be a winner? xo Hayley

  3. My secret dream for something to do after the kids leave the nest has been to either write or enter cooking contests. This looks like a book I will really enjoy.

    1. Thanks Susie--hope you enjoy it! But tell us about your special dish, if you were entering a cooking contest...hungry minds want to know!

  4. This sounds fun. I am totally not a chef though, but I would go for an entree, with my deviled eggs. People always say they have never eaten one so good, even though I don't do anything special with it in my opinion.

  5. Mine would be a flourless chocolate cake. Sad that desserts are not all that important on the other "top" as opposed to "topped' chef. Looking forward to the new mystery==and recipes!