Macy’s Grilling Guru Competition hits Charlotte


Macy’s Great American Grilling Guru Competition stopped into Charlotte last week, and I had the opportunity to watch the gurus get their grill on, onstage at Macy’s in South Park.

HERE’S THE SCOOP:  The competition launched back in Cat-Cora---Macys-South-Park-Charlott[1]April, and contestants had until May 3rd to submit their recipes.  On June 7th, 18 semi-finalists competed in Sizzle Showdowns at six locations across the country, judged by Macy’s Culinary Council Chefs, including Cat Cora and Stephanie Izard.   The winner of each semi-final showdown gets to compete in the finale in New York City on June 28th, and the finale winner gets $10,000 plus a trip to New York City to watch the 2015 Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks.  Awesome, right?

At the competition, I was shocked by the contestants’ calm demeanor onstage.  I expected a mad dash, but each contestant confidently worked through their recipes and finished early, submitting their final plates to Chef Cat Cora for judging.

The competing recipes were:

  • Sherri’s Grilled Thai Lamb Loin Chops
  • Josee’s Shrimp & Apricot Stuffed Grilled Pork Tenderloin
  • Andre’s Steak & Potato Sliders with Basil Gorgonzola Cream


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Birthday Recap!

Today I had a lovely lunch with my mom, sister, and nephew at Einstein’s bros bagels.  Einstein’s carries bagel thins now!  So I had a turkey sandwich on a wheat bagel thin with some delicious jalapeno chips.

After lunch,  I headed to Crooked River Salon to get my FIRST EVER pedicure!  I’ve never had a pedicure before simply because it didn’t seem like it would be worth the money (I’ve actually never had a massage either for these same reason).  But, Crooked River has ½ price manicures/pedicures on Mondays and since my birthday happened to fall on a Monday I thought I’d give it a shot. 

Overall, it was a very relaxing experience!  I got to read magazines, drink about 3 cups of coffee, and just kind of hang out while I was pampered.  No complaints here!

I swung by Macy’s to pick myself up a little birthday present:

Clearance rack + $10 off coupon + Macy’s rewards = 😀

Didn’t get to wear these lovelies tonight though, since my toes were still drying! 

For dinner, I met some friends at the Olde Harbor Inn, which is THE place to go for your birthday in my hometown (especially because you get your birthday dinner free 😉 )

I was in the mood to try something adventurous… but took some time pondering the menu before deciding.

My friend Tim went with the Big Island Salmon, which is char grilled and topped with Hawaiian sesame BBQ glaze and fresh pineapple mango salsa:

Allison went with the warm goat cheese salad, which has mixed greens, pine nuts, dried cherries, strawberries, goat cheese, and maple-peppercorn balsamic dressing:

I decided to go all-out and get the Split King Crab Legs!  I’ve never tried them before, and I thought it would be a nice step in the right direction on my long-term journey to liking seafood.

I was a little hesitant at first, but I was given a thorough crab-leg-eatin training session by the bar tender.

My first bite:

Guess what?  I loved them!!!

Of course I made a huge mess:

I had quite a bit of crab meat left over, so I brought it home to use for my lunch tomorrow.  I’ll have to do a little researching tonight to come up with something tasty!

Even thought the BF is in Belgium, his mom and sis stopped by!

They came bearing gifts:

I have a slight obsession with lawn gnomes… Iknow they are borderline creepy.. But I still <3 them!

I was also SUPER excited because I got a free T-shirt for my b-day:

You can always gauge how happy I am by the number of fully exposed teeth you can see in a photo.. hahahahah 😀

After dinner, we HAD to make a stop at Pav’s Creamery, which is THE BEST ice cream stand in our area (or the best in the world, depending on who you ask 😉 )

SOOOOO Many choices!!!!

I went with my old standby:  1 scoop vanilla with peanut butter, hot fudge, and whip cream:


Allison got a scoop of the Nuts over Cocounut:

And Tim got the banana yogurt with peanut butter sauce:


Fervently happy:

Birthday = Success!  Looking forward to my raincheck bday with the BF 😀

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