Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Hey Sharon, try this pineapple salsa!"

So waaaay back on Saturday, November 15th, we had a fun event that I'd talked about in advance but never followed up with on posting. Sharon covered it right away over on her blog, but I was a bit slackerish...and decided it was finally time to make ammends. We can pretend this just happened this past weekend, right?

While I love going to the Fabulous Food Show, I've found it's best to skip a year or two between the times I attend - there's just not enough new each time, and you can only taste test so much salsa and pasta sauces! In previous years I'd gone with Randy, and had a lot of fun. This year was also fun, because Sharon went with me and she's just gotten into cooking, so there's a newness to all of this that makes it extra special.

And as another bonus, Brett's folks really wanted to go!! (Marty was off visiting the loo for this picture - while we were waiting for the food show to open up) Last year Brett and I sent his parents to the Fabulous Food Show as a thank you for all their help with getting our [new] [lawn] [installed], and they had a blast (but didn't so much enjoy Duff from Ace of Cakes, which was the show we sent them to)

Anyhow, I met Sharon at 830 that morning, and then we drove to meet Brett's folks at a diner they recommended. After breakfast we drove to the I-X Center...

Hm....why is Linda always giving me so much attitude? ;-)

Once we got into the show, we headed right on over to the big stage, the largest of the stages set up for the celebrity chefs to strut their stuff. Linda's a HUGE Paula Deen fan, and Sharon kinda likes her cute country that's who we decided to see. I was in charge of getting the tickets for all of us, and went ahead with the more expensive tickets for better seating. Eh, while we were much closer to the stage than many further back, we were so far off to the side that sometimes it was hard to see what was going on. They could've had as many as a couple thousand people packed into that one room!

The show got started a little late - and we were surprised when Jason Roberts came out as the MC. I saw him doing his chef thing when I went to the show a few years back with Randy, and then Brett's folks saw him as an extra show last year and looooved him (making up for their disappointment with Duff). Brett's mom even got him to talk to me on her cell phone after his show last year, talking about how much we all enjoyed him, etc... We talked to Jason after the show this year and learned he was just MCing this year, making some space for other chefs to fill in.

After a short bit of Jason working the audience, Paula came out to a screaming crowd...

And Paula's REAL big on having her family around her - and had her son Bobby come out to join her. well as her relatively-new husband, Michael. Oh, and see that girl in the background in the picture above? That poor girl won a contest to cook with Paula that Paula didn't even know about. NOR did Paula follow through on the deal. She greeted the girl when they first announced her, but pretty much ignored her the rest of the show - opting to interact with the crowd rather than cook.

Paula also interacted more with the staff of the IX-Center than the girl. Here she's sticking part of her weave on one of the usher's forehead as part of a joke.

Don't get me wrong - we had a good time. The contest winning girl, plus Paula's soux chef, husband and son were put in charge of cooking some meatballs and blondies in the background while Paula worked the crowd. Paula said that, by law, she wasn't allowed to feed us any of the food she prepared. We could, however, feed ourselves apparently!!! So Paula was lobbing meatballs out into the crowd, and thankfully we had super-athletic volleyball playing Sharon with us. Sharon caught a meatball and split it four ways with me, Linda, Marty and herself.


Paula had Bobby throwing meatballs out into the crowd as well.

Bobby's quite popular...

You've got to admit - he's pretty dreamy!

More meatball throwing...

This way and that! She kept trying to get them to this guy who had a small kid with him, only other people were intercepting the meatballs so the guy never got to give one to his kid. Sad.

After the show we split up - Marty & Linda went off to try and get a book signed by Paula (never happened - the line was waaaaaaaaay too long for the short time she was signing books), and Sharon and I went off to start sampling food!

Hey! There's Sharon!

One good thing about a food show is all the eye candy! (see guy in hoodie picking teeth - he was hot!)

It was fun seeing all the vendors, sampling foods, doing a little shopping, etc...but it really did turn into a salsa-and-sauce fest. So many more vendors that are just selling their sauce mixes ("add this overpriced seasoning packet to cream cheese/sour cream"), salsas, spaghetti sauces, etc were set up this's like they're taking over the show. It was funny how many times Sharon and I got excited over finding a pineapple salsa...but after our sampling of the first one we tried, which had us both crying and gasping for water, crackers, anything, we were really cautious!

One last shot of the crowd before we left for the day. The show had opened at 10am, and Sharon and I lasted til about 2:30. Brett's folks, on the other hand, CLOSED THE PLACE at 8pm!!! At least they got their money's worth, attending two more shows, getting to interact with Jason Roberts again, and buying some fun stuff.

Maybe we'll go to the Food Show again next year...or maybe I'll wait a year or two... We'll see!

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