The Great Party Challenge

  • Pin It
  • print
  • email to a friend

The Great Party Challenge

By Paula Deen

This week, I brought the excitement of a culinary competition to the April High Point Furniture Market where I hosted my own Great Party Challenge at the High Point Theatre during the spring Furniture Market.  This Market, I launched my new River House Collection with Universal Furniture.

The Competition
Based on the Spring Market theme of “Inspiration”, five teams of local students who are in the culinary school at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, NC designed and prepared edible centerpieces inspired by one of five family parties: a child’s birthday, graduation, 4th of July, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Students were selected for their creativity and ability to create under pressure. They had 50 minutes to work as a team to assemble their centerpiece, which needed to be 24 or more inches high. When the clock ran out, the audience helped me choose a winner. It was a hoot, y’all! 

And the Winner is!
The winning team was called “Red Hot Freedom” and they made their centerpiece out of fresh fruits and veggies, like watermelon, cantaloupe, radish and squash, for the 4th of July.  The team members were Zachary Foster, Amanda Hart, Shaina Jenkins, and Jerry Marsh.

Some of the 16 students in the competition came from as far away as Haiti and some were new cooks while others were looking to hone their skills. Their long-term goals range from owning a restaurant or a bakery to operating catering services and food delivery services. Students practiced for a combined 360 hours on their centerpiece – which is just amazing.

Each member of the winning team will receive a promotional video, with a personal interview taped with myself. Plus, they each get a signed cookbook and a trophy designed just for this competition. Plus, I slipped a little gift card in there since I know how hard it is to start out in this business.

Down Home Lovin’
With my new River House Collection, I share my love of Savannah and the casual comfortable lifestyle there. River House captures the beauty and hospitality of gracious life on the Savannah River. It is available in 3 finishes, River Bank, a deep brown cherry finish; River Boat, white with a gray rub-through and Oyster Shell – a beautiful grey accent.  Right now, I have five furniture collections, Paula Deen Home, Down Home the new River House and the Gals and Guys collections for kids that are a part of Universal’s SmartStuff™ youth furniture.
 
As always, I’m wishin’ y’all love and best dishes!

Photo courtesy of Anthony D. Thomas.

Read More From Blogs.

Read More From Paula Deen.

You May Also Like These Articles:

You May Also Like These Recipes:

Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:

54321

Who better to teach students how to "keep it real,and down to earth " than Paula. So glad to see you back and better than ever, Paula.

By Joanne on April 28, 2014

My Recipe Box |

Paula's Upcoming Schedule

  • September 20: Booksigning in Waco, TX

    Join Paula at DuBois Furniture in Waco, TX for a book signing and meet and greet from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm.

  • September 24: Paula Deen Live! in Charlotte

    Come see Paula’s live show at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte, NC and get a heaping helping of Paula’s recipes, and some good old-fashioned fun and laughter!
    Tickets available from Blumenthal Performing Arts Center here!


    VIP MEET AND GREET
    Starts at 5:30 PM. Light hors d’oeuvres and beer & wine will be served, including a meet and greet with Paula Deen! 


    Sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms.

  • October 24: Deen Family Book Signing

    Join the Deen Family for a Book Signing at The Lady & Sons from 10 am to 12 pm.
    The event is free; 350 wristbands to be distributed starting at 9 am.

  • View Paula's Full Schedule