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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Win a trip to culinary school in Napa

Want to go to culinary school bootcamp? I’m working with Pacific Natural Foods to send one of you to an all-expense paid trip for 2-day, 3-night culinary bootcamp at the legendary Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley! One of you get to go….and one of them (see those beautiful faces below?) will go too.

A few years ago, I had a dream of attending culinary school, a brand new one that had just opened up near my home. But when I saw the price tag *gasp* I decided to start a blog instead. Cheaper, more therapeutic and hey….look where it got me! ;-) But gosh, can you imagine if I would have taken at least the culinary bootcamp?! I think I would have saved at least $6,362 worth of burnt casseroles, floppy souffles and dry roasts.

Well, one of you lucky ducks and one of the bloggers below will have a chance! Now, there is a little work involved – creating a recipe using that week’s secret ingredient + one of Pacific Natural Foods broths. There’s plenty to choose from, organic beef broth, mushroom broth, chicken broth and vegetable broth. Easy, right? The details of the Everyday Chef Challenge is here.

So this is what’s going to happen. Both you and the bloggers will cook and submit recipes, which are open for public vote. Let me introduce the bloggers to you:


This is Michael, one of the handsome food bloggers I’ve ever laid eyes on! His blog is Herbivoracious, I love how he puts such an elegant spin on vegetarian recipes.

Michael has been a vegetarian for 25 years, lives in Seattle with his family.  By day, he’s a software engineer (yay Adobe!) and by night he’s a chef at home and blogger. His entry is a Shiitake and Morel Ravioli – and in reading his description of the dish, I actually learned 2 new phrases: duxelles and gremolata.

You’ll have to read to find out what that is!


Aggie lives right near me, in Orlando. Which means I could very easily drive to her house for dinner and would love to nosh on these Smoky BBQ Turkey Sliders and sip on Watermelon Mojitos.

That is, if I got such an invitation. This poor girl doesn’t even know me and I’ve already invited myself over and chosen the menu! Oh dear.

Anyways, come take a look at her entry for the challenge, Mushroom Marsala with Garlic Herb Quinoa Pilaf, which looks incredibly savory!


The pretty lady behind Savory Nest is Lorie. I’m going to tell you something about Lorie that will make your eyes go wide.

She’s got a daughter. In college. Oh wait….just about to finish college!!

Yes! This girl right here who looks like she’s the one in college!

I want her night cream.

But I’ll start with having her Mushroom-Parmesan Chicken with Braised Lentils and Roasted Vegetables.


Erin has a problem. But don’t worry, it’s a good one. She simply cannot spend more than $5 in groceries for family dinner. Now that’s smart, sensible and frugal. The sales and coupons are all out there, Erin know where to find them (and she’ll show you too) and spending less on groceries means more money in your pocketbook means more vacations to Mexico

(oh wait, I’m getting sidetracked)

Her entry to the contest is Wild Rice Stuffing with Pears, Cranberries and Creamy Rosemary Mushroom – I’m totally having this for Thanksgiving dinner.


Elana is the author of The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook and hostess of Elana’s Pantry blog. Any television producers out there? I’d love to see Elana host her own cooking show!

I’ve just learned a new recipe on her blog – Cauliflower Rice – it’s absolutely brilliant.

Her Thai Vegetable Soup entry is exactly my kinda food. Creamy, gingery, coconut-y. To be fancy, I’d throw in some cooked crab meat too.

Okay, now it’s time to go vote for your favorite and to get busy in your kitchen! (pssst….the chances of winning are really good! there are only a handful of entries so far!)



16 Responses to “Win a trip to culinary school in Napa”

  1. Wow what a fun contest! And I want to know what Lorie uses also!

  2. Jeanette — 9/17/10 @ 1:40 pm

    What fun! I love all the different recipe ideas. I’ve submitted a recipe for Vietnamese Vegetarian Pho using mushrooms, but the competition is looking very tough!

  3. Erica — 9/17/10 @ 6:24 pm

    What’s the deadline?

  4. Alisa — 9/17/10 @ 6:30 pm

    I love this challenge and entered! Thanks for your sweet comment on my entry Jaden.

    You have done a tremendous job in motivating many food bloggers and home cooks.

  5. Lorie — 9/17/10 @ 7:11 pm

    Hi Jaden…
    First things first: it’s Bobbie Brown Extra, SPF 25 Moisturizing Balm!
    Thank you for your kind words (it’s a pretty bright pic taken from a little distance… works wonders for your appearance! The dog as a distraction doesn’t hurt… and our continual NW drizzle helps keep wrinkles at bay:)
    Oh… just so our older daughter doesn’t feel slighted… we have two (one in college, the other is graduated (and working…yeah!)
    Thanks again for the “glowing” bio… and comment on my recipe post. Much appreciated!!!

  6. Ting — 9/18/10 @ 3:28 am

    Too bad I’m travelling for two weeks.. would love to join!!!

  7. rita — 9/18/10 @ 3:15 pm

    oh, wow! that’s an awesome contest. i used to live in SF. the last time i was there was in 1994! i miss that whole area.

  8. What fun! And what a great group of bloggers. Thanks for letting us know about this contest, Jaden!

  9. Pingback: Grilled Broccoli | Gluten Free Recipes - Elana's Pantry

  10. Delishhh — 9/21/10 @ 12:12 am

    How fun! How can i not try this out. Thanks for letting us know.

  11. Aggie — 9/29/10 @ 9:22 am

    Hey Jaden! Come on over girl! I’ll get the grill and blender going! :)

    Thanks for the write up!

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