The Great Party Challenge

  • Pin It
  • print
  • email to a friend
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 Blogs:

You May Also Like These Recipes:

Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:

image
Paula Deen
Paula Deen
The Lady's Blog
The Queen of Southern Cuisine muses about her recipes, life and family. See Posts

Brooke Deen
Brooke Deen
Deen Mother
Advice on raising two boys (three counting Jamie). See Posts

Brandon Branch
Brandon Branch
Southern Style
Decorating Inspiration from Paula's Design Director. See Posts

Julia Sayers
Julia Sayers
Hot off the Press
Step behind the pages and let the Associate Editor of Cooking with Paula Deen fill you in on what goes into creating every issue. See Posts

Lisa Scarbrough
Lisa Scarbrough
Thrift Store Mommy
Mom on a dime advice from Paula's Digital Properties Manager. See Posts

Andrea Goto
Andrea Goto
Mom 2.0
Tips from a real-world mom with comedic tendencies. See Posts

Martha Lee
Martha Lee
Earth Mother
Practical, earth-conscious ways to live and parent in the 21st century. See Posts

Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
Bubbles' Corner
Ideas and advice from a 21st Century young at heart Grandmother. See Posts

Cindy Edwards
Cindy Edwards
Southern Proper
Etiquette advice from a true Southern belle. See Posts

image

hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm