Macy's Grilling Guru Competition Semi-Finals - Handmade in the Heartland

Macy's Grilling Guru Competition Semi-Finals

I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post about Macy’s Culinary Council. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own. 

Macy's Grilling Guru Semi-final competition in Kansas

Summer means grilling, am I right?! Well Saturday I was able to go and watch some grillmasters battle it out at the Macy's sizzle showdown. I love to watch people cook and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone (food network, anyone?) its really fun to get new ideas and these grilling guru's really brought their A game.  So basically Macy's had this open contest where you could submit your best grilling recipe and then the best were chosen from all over the country to compete in 6 semi-final competitions.  The south central semi-finals were held here in BBQ central and it was so fun! I loved that these awesome grill recipes came from home cooks that showed their awesome skills, I was super impressed with their finished results! It was also so fun to meet Stephanie Izard- the first woman to win Bravo's Top Chef in 2008, James Beard nominee for her restaurant in Chicago Girl & the Goat, and all around amazing chef who was the judge of the competition. 

Macy's Grilling Guru Semi-final competition in Kansas

During the event they served two different recipes of Stephanie's that were delicious, a grilled asparagus salad & broiled shrimp with slaw.  It was a welcome treat for the audience whose mouth was drooling watching the cooking on stage.  The three grillers were Judy Armstrong from Louisiana, Tom Jones from Texas and Mary Shivers from OK.  In the photo above you can see Mary's braided pork & beef prepped to go on the grill. 

Macy's Grilling Guru Semi-final competition in Kansas

They had 1 hour to create their dishes and as it got closer to the final bell it was super fun to watch them plate their goodness. Throughout the event we got to hear from Stephanie as she was talking to the cooks as well as telling us a little bit about her style and philosophy of cooking.  She mentioned "All things on the plate should be edible" - Agreed! don't put anything on my plate I can't gobble down. :) Stephanie Izard is apart of the Macy's culinary council, a group of chefs that share recipes and strive to bring gourmet cooking to home kitchens.  

Below are the final dishes.  
Judy served Grilled Goat Cheese & Spinach Stuff Pork Chops, she not only stuffed the chop but wrapped it in bacon and then in the final stages of grilling added a jelly to the top for an easy and delicious glaze, I'll def. be trying that technique soon! 

Tom served Black Pepper Crusted Flat Iron Steaks, they looked perfect and Stephanie mentioned that it would be hard to find a steak cooked more perfectly.  He created a reduction sauce using Guinness ale which as super unique.
Macy's Grilling Guru Semi-final competition in Kansas

And finally our winner Mary grilled up these beautiful American West Pork and Beef Braids. Stephanie commented that she had never seen meat braided before and that the idea of "turf & turf" was awesome.  That's how we do it in the midwest, isn't it? Meat on Meat! 
Macy's Grilling Guru Semi-final competition in Kansas

After contemplation on Stephanie's part (even having a member of the audience come up and taste to confer with) she announced Mary Shivers of Ada Oklahoma as the winner! Mary will go on to compete at the finals in NYC with a chance to win $10,000! Good luck Mary we will be rooting for our midwest girl to win! 

Macy's Grilling Guru Semi-final competition in Kansas

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