Pillsbury Bake-Off… The Winner is…

For those of you that follow me on Twitter, you probably saw a flurry of tweets over the weekend with the hashtag #PBO. If you couldn’t guess from all the drama, suspense and twittering, I was in Orlando Florida attending the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

Upon arrival, I was pleased to see many familiar faces including Jaden, Jennifer, Jessica, and Carolyn, as well as many new ones, like Vanessa, Carol, Lori, Babette, Tina, Chris, Stephen, and Amy. As with most occasions when food bloggers get together, we had a blast, consuming copious amounts of alcohol, taking a few laps around the “lazy” river, and letting the camera shutters fly every time we crossed paths with food.

Pillsbury Bake Off in Orlando

But the main event, and the reason why Pillsbury flew us down to Orlando was to cover the Bake-Off, and boy howdy, did we have it covered.

Chris Caston with Chai Brownie Cupcakes with Creamy Froth

We blanketed the bake-off floor, each with our own personal quests. Chris and Stephen got all 100 finalists to autograph bake-off finalists book. Since I was one of the few in attendance with a Y chromosome, I made it my mission to chat with all 7 male finalists. Above, Chris Caston shows off his tasty Chai Brownie Cupcakes with Creamy Froth. The cupcakes tasted of Chai tea and the frosting was light and airy without being cloyingly sweet.

Jaden with the Pillsbury Doughboy

Meanwhile, Jaden was off poking the Pillsbury Doughboy…

Savory Breakfast Pizza

In between all these adventures, we managed to sample some surprisingly tasty treats, all made using a Pillsbury product. I was impressed by the creativity exhibited, and as one person noted, some of the contestants were using the pre-packaged products the “wrong” way. The dish pictured above is a savory breakfast pizza made by Adrienne Davis of Highland, MD. Topped with pesto, bacon, cheese, tomatoes and eggs that were still just a bit runny in the middle, it was like a portable version of a baked egg.

Pillsbury Bake-Off entries

As you can see, there were way too many entries to taste all of them, and it turned out, I didn’t taste any of the winning entries. Still between the dozen bloggers in attendance, we managed to eat our way through most of the entries and there was one in particular that everyone kept talking about.

Most of us went back for seconds of the Candied Bacon and Apple Canap├ęs, by Stephanie Lemus. While we were all hoping it would win in the appetizers category, we decided to give it our own Blogger’s Choice Award. Despite my general feelings towards recipes and packaged foods, I can see myself making this one, and eating all of them. It was that good! Check out the recipe here.

At the end of the day, it was time for the real award ceremony, and all the contestants lined up, eager to find out if they’d won in their category.

As the names were read off, the winners lined up on stage. Some where elated, while others just looked shocked.

The four category winners

The four finalists were flown out to Chicago right after the ceremony, where the grand prize winner (who won $1,000,000) was announced on The Oprah Show today.

Pillsbury Bake-Off Winner - Sue Compton, Delanco, NJ

Sue Compton of Delanco, NJ is now a million dollars richer thanks to the Mini Ice Cream Cookie Cups she came up with. Congratulations to Sue, and all the other finalists of the 2010 Pillsbury Bake-Off!

Pillsbury Bake-Off

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    Holy crap, a million dollars?!? What am I still doing slumming it out as a doctor?! Ha ha ha. Looks like you had a great time, Marc! I'd love to be able to taste some of those baked goods :)

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  • http://bunkycooks.com bunkycooks

    We all should enter that contest for that amount of money. Wow! Congrats to Sue. It looks like a good time was had by all with way too much food (and wine)!

    • Danhuama

      We all should enter that contest for that amount of money. Wow! Congrats to Sue. It looks like a good time was had by all with way too much food

  • http://cookappeal.blogspot.com/ Chef E

    How cool was it to attend! I was the Pillsbury Dough Boy once when I worked as a chef for Kitchen Consultants and the person did not show up for the costume, and it paid for, I have the photos to prove it, lol, hey the food looks great, and that is a lot of 'dough' to win. What is she doing with the money?

  • carolynjung

    Great pics, as always, Marc! So good to finally meet you in person. It was hard to be sequestered in the judges room and to miss all the action on the floor. But judging was an awesome experience. It was wonderful to know that our decision helped change someone's life with a cool $1 million.

  • http://bakeanything.wordpress.com bakeanything

    Can't believe I missed this! Would have been awesome to meet another food blogger here. The vibe of the event seems great!

  • http://www.pastrychefonline.com/ onlinepastrychef

    How cool! I must be in a black hole or something. Had I known, we'd have wandered down to the competition. We was in Orlando this past weekend for a baby shower/food orgy. Looks like you guys had a great time!

  • Joanna

    What an awesome event! And a million dollars?? That's seriously life changing. Maybe I should enter next year… :)

    Also I LOVE the look of your bloggers' choice winner. Since the Pillsbury ingredient she used is pie crusts, it probably wouldn't be too hard to make a from-scratch version, right? I might have to experiment!

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com we are never full

    go you! this is hilarious! i just saw the oprah about this where they announced the 1million dollar winner. and, i hate to say it (maybe i'm being a TOTAL food snob here), but it seems like all those awesome bloggers (who i respect immensely) in the photo above are almost too talented for this competition! i'm such a biotch but after looking at the top 4 winners, I just can't imagine how someone as good as you or jayden would've won. chipotle burgers was profiled as one of the top recipes, I believe (wow, that's a new one!. Maybe they were looking for recipes geared more toward the housewife? I know i'm mean, but I'm just calling it as I saw it.

    regardless, i'm sure it was fun and a great experience. the oprah special was fun when they profiled it. Fun times!

    ps: am i mean for saying this? i feel like i need to go to food blogger confession or something!

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