DOLE Cook-Off~~Eastern Region Finalist

DOLE Cook-Off~~Eastern Region Finalist

I’m dancing. I’m twirling, I’m doing back flips and head stands!  Well, the latter two, if I could!  I’ve been selected as the Eastern Region Finalist in the 2013 Dole Cook-Off.  Now this is not a bush league contest~~it’s highly competitive, rigorous and the guidelines for the recipe creations were a challenge!

Yes, you had to use a DOLE product.  The recipe could include only seven ingredients, and it must be prepped and cooked in sixty minutes.  Added to that is the requirement that it has to all be done on an outdoor grill, and you’ve got yourself a showdown!  The judging criteria are specific~~

DOLE Cook-Off~~Eastern Region Finalist

I spent a lot of time cogitating on these rules and guidelines~~Judges will judge and rate each Finalist Recipe according to the following Criteria: (1) Best Use of DOLE® Product(s) – 40%, (2) Creativity/Ease of Preparation/Presentation – 30%, and (3) Flavor and Taste – 30%. So you might ask, who does the judging?  Well, according to the fine print~~ The Finalists’ recipes will be judged by a panel of four (4) Round Two Contest Judges (“Round Two Judges”) consisting of Chef Ben Ford, two other qualified Round Two Judges selected by DOLE®, and the “DOLE® Fan Judge”/Sweepstakes.

Creating a winning recipe for me goes in phases and stages~~it doesn’t happen in my kitchen~~it usually happens at the most unlikely times~~when I’m in a yoga class, driving, lying in bed and my mind is racing, putting on make-up, doing laundry, groucery shopping~~the mind is a marvelous thing.  It just seems to re-run, for me, these ‘reels’ and after a while elusive thoughts start coming together.  Actually, for weeks before I even start bringing together a recipe, I’m DOLE Cook-Off~~Eastern Region Finalistthinking thinking thinking~~I’m cataloging ideas mentally (no I don’t write them down), I’m visualizing colors, ingredients, how the recipe is cooked, utensils I’m using, pots, pans, garnishes, plating, I’m tasting in my mind’s eye~~I’m layering flavors on my palate.  It’s all crazy, but that’s how my mind works!  And, that’s how I approach each and every contest I’ve ever entered.

If you’re in the neck o’ the woods of Santa Monica Place, CA on June 29, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m…stop by, and watch me prepare my dish!

DOLE Cook-Off~~Eastern Region Finalist

“Harissa Veal Meatball Fruit Kabobs with Greek Yogurt Mint Sauce and Goat Cheese”

DOLE Cook-Off~~Eastern Region Finalist



About Ally


  1. And you should definitely check out Chef Ben Ford’s restaurant. Love it!

  2. Good luck to you, Ally! Your dish sounds amazing! Wish I were gonna be there. Santa Monica is my old stomping grounds. Lived out there for the last 37 years!! xo

    • OMG, how I wish you could be there, too, Helena! It’s always good to have friends and family support…Ben (my hubster) has another commitment, so he can’t go…just be there in big spirit and soul w/me!! xo ally

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>