The beginning of the World Food Championship journey…it all starts with schlepping to the airport enough baggage to live a life in another country and a $2,000 mini-bar bill! Just what do you think it takes to make one littl’ ol’ sandwich? Not in your own kitchen?
Well, I can tell you that I packed a designated piece of luggage full of everything from skillets, and cheap ones at that from Dollar Store that I can trash afterwards, to knives, homemade bread, sauces, whisks, serving pieces, and more—the grand total weight—51 pounds! And, that’s not even the entire list of stuff I need—perishable ingredients for the sandwich. Making six of them for the judges means lots of ingredients. So day one started with my amazingly supportive husband, Ben, and I boarding our flight for sin city, Las Vegas.
So many things have been done for this world competition, the first ever. I’d spent about six weeks perfecting my recipe—taste testers, tweaking and changing, altering ingredients, having my foodie dear friend and esteemed cheffie, Christie, from
Zestuous make it and give her critique, and consulting another really esteemed foodie, Karen, from Crystallized Flower Company, for unique ideas for plating, garnishing and added value. I must say this sandwich is one rockin’ unique one, and it has a sleeper killer ingredient that we all hope will help set it apart from other sandwiches!
This first day was jam-packed full from getting all the gear from the airport to the hotel, unpacking, and refrigerating the perishables that were packed in ice for traveling. Next, to find registration, and that’s a trek to the Bally Hotel, through the casino, and all the way at the back of the hotel in a huge parking lot covered with white tents, gravel, rutted pavement and all ready for BBQ and chili competition. Where did the day go—before we know it, it’s time to head to the competitor’s reception that evening—so excited because I’m going to meet for the very first time Christie from Zestuous, who’s cooking with me, and so many of my other foodie friends with whom I’ve developed a strong friendship outside of food totally through Facebook! And, then, of course, there’s Adam—as in Adam Richman of the Travel Channel’s wildly popular foodie show ‘Man vs. Food’—as the host of the event, he’s a big draw!
The evening ended with a big surprise when I got back from the reception! The mini-bar refrig in the hotel room isn’t too small, but it’s stocked full of beer, liquor, water, sodas, and juice drinks. I promptly move them all around when I unpacked the sandwich stuff that was in the
luggage moving some of the mini-bar goodies to the bottom of the refrig, making room for one shelf for the ‘stuff.’ The next morning we had a $2,000 charge on our bill! Yeppers, apparently there are hidden well-working sensors under each item and if an item is moved, it’s billed to your room—of course, I had moved EVERYTHING including the chips, pretzels, candy bars, etc. on the top of the cabinet, too! To boot, I’d moved some of the canned drinks to the bottom of the refrig—I didn’t realize it was a ‘freezer’—I mean it was open just like the other shelves. Well, there was plenty of spewed cans of beer and soda, and, yep, we’ll probably have to ante up for those things!
I’d better win some money here with this sandwich—I already have a huge bar bill and am in major debt! Hey, there’s always Black Jack, the crap table or the chance to be a High Roller!