1 Here I am at the 45th Pillsbury Bake Off Contest held at the Peabody Orlando Hotel.
2 The contest was held in the ballroom of the Peabody.
3 The 100 finalists were lined up for the Grand March to their ranges.
4 We featured Keith Henn of Brightwaters, New York, on our Road to the Bake off Show. He made Curried Soup with Cheese filled Naan.
5 All of the finalists prepared dishes were required to be presented to the judges by 12PM.
6 This contest is for non-professional cooks only. You will be disqualified if you receive money for cooking, are a food blogger, or if you have attended or are attending culinary school.
7 There was a whole group of us who attended. Here I am with Lucinda Scala Quinn - SVP, Exec Editorial Dir, Food & Ent, Pilar Guzman - VP, Editor in Chief MSL, Sarah Carey - VP Editor in Chief EDF, Joey Kola - my audience warm-up comic.
8 Laurie Hepburn - Television Producer - checking a monitor
9 Fran Brescia - Producer, Lisa Wagner - SVP Supervising Editorial Producer, and Geoffrey Darby - General Manager Television
10 Each recipe had to fit into one of four categories: Breakfast and Brunches, Entertaining Appetizers, Dinner Made Easy, or Sweet Treats.
11 We had a lot of fun visiting all of the bustling food prep stations and tasting the creations.
12 So many contestants had their own cheering committees.
13 Kathy Ault of Edmond, Oklahoma made Stuffed Three-Seed Braid:
14 Jone Schumacher of Chapin, Illinois explaining her Orange-Coconut Fish Po'Boys
15 This bread creation uses the required ingredients of Land O Lakes Butter and Pillsbury Best Flour.
16 Discussing the contest with Ann Simonds, Senior Vice President;
President, Pillsbury USA
17 Since the first Bake-Off competition in 1949, more than 4,000 finalists have vied for the Grand Prize.
18 Dinah Surh of Staten Island, NY, preparing her Meatball Minestrone Bake
19 Jane Michel of Houston, Texas made Biscuit Corn Cakes with Goat Cheese and Blackberry-Thyme Sauce
20 Holly Deak from Brookline, MA prepared a Savory Vegetable Tart in the Breakfast & Brunches category.
21 Savory Vegetable Tart from Holly Deak
of Brookline, Massachusetts
22 Marjean Biegelow of Portland, OR making her Luscious Caramel-Brownie bites
23 Amy Siegel of Clifton, New Jersey made Strawberry Swirl-Peanut Butter-Brownie Cupcakes
24 Spiced Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream from Lori Falce of Osceola Mills, Pennsylvania
25 Peanut Butter Creme Cookie Cups from Mary Fields from Gilbert, Arizona
26 Nalini Menon of Vista, California created a Panko-Topped Curried Eggs Breakfast Pizza:
27 Salmon Crescent Sushi Rolls from Julie McIntire of Independence, MO
28 Mango-Lemon Drop Sunshine Puffs from Amber Schofield, Athens, AL
29 interviewing judge Carolyn Jung, Food and Wine writer
30 All recipes must use at least two eligible products.
31 Tens of thousands entered the contest, but only 100 made it to the finals. This year there were 95 women and 5 men.
32 Roasted butternut squash for Butternut Squash Brunch Braid
33 Butternut Squash Brunch Braid from Natalie Edwards
of Boxborough, Massachusetts
34 Natalie Edwards with her Butternut Squash Brunch Braid
35 Loaded Nacho Burgers from Pam Wilkinson of Tracy, California
36 Cherry-Jalapeño-Cream Cheese Tartlets from Maryann Rems of Windermere, Florida
37 Kickin' Chicken Sandwiches with cucumber topping from Pauline Porterfield of Roxboro, North Carolina:
38 Mediterranean Chicken Pot Pies from Elizabeth Morath of
Amherst, New York
39 Dark Cherry Chocolate Breakfast Pastry from MaryAnne Salaway
of Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania
40 Elizabeth Morath presenting her Kickin' Chicken Sandwiches to the judges table
41 This was the judging area where a panel of 12 judges had to agree unanimously who the winner was.
42 And this area is where all of the recipe creations were on display for all to look at.
43 Posing with Joey Mead, my television director
44 We created a special television set for my show to do a live broadcast announcing the grand prize winner. All the objects on the wonderful panels for the set were photographic images of the Martha kitchen products sold at Macy’s.
45 This rolling countertop was designed by me for The Home Depot and was built by MasterBrand, the builder of the Martha Stewart Kitchens in North Carolina.
46 Anduin Havens, my television set decorator, designed these panels.
47 The items that make up this fun chandelier are also from the Martha Stewart collection of professional kitchen tools from Macy's.