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#peterbsbrewsandbitescontest: A Winning Recipe!


When I saw #peterbsbrewsandbitescontest - a cooking contest to create an appetizer using one of their brews - announced on Peter B's Facebook page, I was instantly inspired. I created a dish showcasing my favorite Peter B's brew: Legend of Laguna IPA. Then I submitted my IPA-Braised Carnitas Over Polenta Cakes to the contest...and waited.


The three finalists were announced...

  • Beer Fondue by Rachel N.
  • IPA-Braised Carnitas over Polenta Cakes by Camilla M.
  • Vegan Beer Caramelized Leek & Onion Dip served with Beer Pretzel Bites by Briana S. 

...followed by more waiting. Yesterday, the chef at Peter B's recreated our three dishes and we were judged by the Beer Geeks, the Grub Hunter, and KRML's Program Director AKA Chris, Merideth, Mike, and Jeff. I was oddly nervous that a professional chef was making one of my recipes. Here's the crew, judging the dishes during Pub Talk last night.

photo by Portola Hotel & Spa

As is always the case on a Wednesday evening, Jake and I were shuffling the kiddos. R had mandolin lessons, so Jake took him and I grabbed D to go watch and listen to the show.

"Mom, I'm not allowed to go to a bar."

It's fine. We're going to sit outside and listen to the radio. 

"You do know that you can't see anything on the radio, right?"

No, the show is on the radio, but we can see the people broadcasting from the pub. 

"Really?!?"

Yes. Please walk faster.

We were already late and I only found a 30 minute parking spot at the wharf. When we got there, they were already tasting my dish. KRML posted these...


As always I learned something. I didn't want to be too stalker-ish, so I didn't go over to see who was saying what. One of the comments was "well, it's not really carnitas...because carnitas is cooked in lard." I had no idea! So, I looked it up when I got home and he was right. But, really, who cooks with lard these days?!?

Another comment was that my recipe was not easy to make, or something to that effect. I thought: okay, I am not going to win. They think it's inauthentic and complicated.

D and I had lemonades and cheese curds, then dashed off before the winner was announced. I had been keeping a close eye on the time and just barely beat the meter-man to my car. He was two cars away when we arrived; and we had sprinted from Peter B's. Phew. No parking ticket!

So, we missed the final verdict. A little while later one of the Beer Geeks tweeted me: "you won by the way." Here's the blogpost from Portola, announcing the winner: here.

Woohoo. I shouted and started dancing around the living room. D gave me a high-five and a huge hug before running upstairs to tell Daddy and R.

I liked the challenge they posed. I really liked the culinary adventure of creating a new dish. And, I'll be honest, I loved winning the contest!

Look for the post of our Beer Garden adventure at the end of September. That's what I won - two tickets to the beer garden event, a night at the hotel, and a growlette.

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