The events director of the I-X Center graciously set up three shows for me. But there was just one problem: I have stage fright. Pretty bad.
So I kept saying to myself, "You can do this. You can do this." And in a way, after all is said and done and I reflect back on it now, I suppose I did do it. Especially since I didn't faint...or throw up.
For anyone who's interested, here's a quick rundown of my weekend.
DAY 1: I had Dante Boccuzzi and Nolan Konkoski with me on the Giant Eagle Stage. The chefs were great. The demos were even greater. And the crowd was the greatest!
|Dante doing a demo of his "Mustard-Crusted Lamb Cutlets with Garbanzo Beans & Frisee"
|Nolan explaining how to make his "Crab-Topped Arctic Char with Wilted Watercress & Tabasco Butter"
Day 2: Ok, I survived the first day. This might not be so bad after all, I thought to myself. I started the morning judging a cooking contest sponsored by Sugardale Bacon. I loved every minute of it. Then again, what's not to love about bacon? Seriously.
|That's me conferring with fellow judge, Steve Schimoler
Then later in the day, Jonathan Bennett and Shawn Cline joined me on the Sweet Stage where they made some extra delectable, mouthwatering desserts from my book.
|Jonathan preparing his "Gingered Apple Tarte Tatin"
|Shawn whipping up his "Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar"
Day 3: It's finally the last day. I'm really on a roll. Maybe I will survive. This day brings Zack Bruell and Ben Bebenroth back to the Giant Eagle Stage with me to demonstrate their dishes in my book.
|Zack discussing secret tips for his "Seared Sea Scallops with Thai Curry Coconut Sauce"
|Ben whisking up his "Savory Killbuck Mushroom Buckwheat Crepes"
I made it. I think. Actually, I'm pretty sure I did. And if you were there with me, I thank you for not making fun of me.
Till next time,