Monday, August 13, 2012

Lunch & Learn with Bruce Seidel, BeauMac, and THE CASSEROLE QUEENS!

From left: Casserole Queen Sandy Pollock, Me in my 50's getup
and Casserole Queen Crystal Cook
Elements and Sanctuary have done it again!  They've created another wonderful foodie experience with Lunch & Learn and this time they were nice enough to let me participate!  I can't even begin to tell you how much fun I had this last weekend AND how honored I was to be a very small part of this big, beautiful celebrity chef circle!

This week Elements and chef Beau MacMillan (Beau Mac&Cheese as he was duped this week) hosted YouTube's Hungry Channel CEO Bruce Seidel and his gorgeous Casserole Queens!  The event was nothing short of spectacular with a 50's themed costume contest and a casserole cook-off!
Dressed and ready for the ball,
casserole and all!

After begging very nicely to be a part of the cook-off, I was thrilled to get my invitation via e-mail and immediately ran to the MardiGras costume shop that sits a mile from my home.  I was thrilled to have Amanda (who is quite a little vintage 50's aficionado herself) dress me from head to toe with dress, apron, crinoline and pearls.  I practiced my victory rolls hairdo for two days and googled 50's make-up over and over.  I was dead serious.

I had already prepared a recipe and posted it here on my blog, so Chef MacMillan or whomever it was that was deciding whether or not I was worthy could see that I wasn't just full of fluff!

Before I knew it, the party was underway and my suspicions about Bruce, The Casserole Queens and everyone at elements and Hungry were correct.  Everyone was fabulous, funny and SUPER friendly.

Bacon & Spicy Sausage Casserole
with Creamy Cashew Pesto
I had five other competitors for the casserole cook-off, which included a spin on Shepherd's Pie, a lemon-infused, updated Tuna Casserole and an incredible Chicken Marsala Casserole topped with Puff Pastry.  I was confident about my Bacon & Spicy Sausage Casserole with Creamy Cashew Pesto, but in the end, who doesn't LOVE Chicken Marsala?!  It won, hands down and Diana will be going to LA to film an episode with the Casserole Queens!  I ended up taking an unexpected and appreciative second place in the costume contest, and received a beautiful gift bag full of hats, t-shirts, wine and locally grown and bottled Olive Oil, just for being a part of everything!

Now, let's talk food.  OH.MY.GOD.  First of all, The Casserole Queens are unmistakably ADORABLE and their food is absolutely OUTSTANDING!  They started out with a simple and delicious salad that had us all weak in the knees.  It was bursting with fresh, soft figs, Gorgonzola cheese, hazelnuts, mixed greens and a beautiful, sweet balsamic dressing.  Honestly, they could have fed me a plate of those figs with Gorgonzola and I would have been completely happy!  AH-MA-ZING!

For their entree, they did a great demonstration of their "Lunch Lady Doris' Spicy Mac and Cheese!"  This is by far their most sought after dish, boasting over 90,000 views on YouTube.  You're about to be 90,001 by watching below:

Now, if you're not much of a heat person, I would imagine that this would be just as good without the cayenne pepper, but I LOVE heat, so BRING IT ON!  The Mac and Cheese was topped with Chef Beau MacMillan's Kobe Beef Short Ribs that, I have to say, literally melted in my mouth!

For dessert, I can only say five words: PEANUT BUTTER BANANA FREEZER PIE.  WATCH:

Drooling yet?  I literally had to watch everyone at my table and pace myself to make sure I wasn't INHALING my dessert.  Who doesn't LOVE peanut butter, bananas and chocolate together?!

We ended the night with lots of singing and dancing with the extremely talented (and cute) D. Vincent Williams.  We were entertained, appreciated, wined and dined as usual.  I have to say, Elements and the "BeauMac" really know how to throw a party, and it wouldn't have been the same without Bruce and The Casserole Queens!

P.S.  PLEASE support our future as foodies in the digital age!  Subscribe to Hungry, the channel, as YouTube, Electus and Bruce Seidel change the face of how we "view" food!

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