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From Golden Ticket to Golden Medal! 10th Overall at WFC 2016

With two of my absolute best friends in life, who know me best and found it in their hearts to support my crazy, I scored high points in my first time ever on the World Food Championship platform! When my name was called first, I literally froze. Luckily, I wasn't cooking anymore because I could not move.

"And in 10th place, Ashley...

-"Man, who has my name?"

-"Minceyy.

-"...(O_o)"

-"Is she here?"

Haha! Yes, I'm here silly!

This moment changed everything. I would cook again for a third time, and remain 10th overall in the category. I was prepared, but now with more experience I understand what has to be done to move on up to the Deluxe apartment in the sky of the WFC stage.

1st Round: Chicharron Fried Eggs Benedict with Mojo Pork Belly

2nd Round: Cajun Shrimp and Grits with 'Salt & Vinegar' Okra Chips

3rd Round: Breakfast Tamal con Huevo y Salsas Navidenas

Back Stories:

1st Round: Structured Build

Every competitor has the chance to recreate the same dish. I decided to show off my Cuban roots (no, I'm not Cuban or have any sort of Cuban descent, but I'm from Miami. Enough said.) Cuban food culture means lechon y ajo (pork and garlic) reign supreme, so I wanted to highlight it 3 ways.

a. Mojo Pork Belly (that will now be a family recipe I pass down)

b. Canadian Bacon

c. and, a deeeeeep fried poached egg in a chicharron coating!!

Yes lawd!

2nd Round: Signature Build

This one changed 3 times before I made my ultimate decision. I did an étouffée inspired sauce, and wanted to highlight several food facts about the Cajun cuisine all focused around my 'very much asked for' Shrimp & Grits. I"envied" it by adding crispy 'salt & vinegar' okra chips. Always had to just have that something extra that made it mine and like no other dish the judges had had before.

3rd Round: Infused Ingredient

Being from Miami, I've lived in an international environment my whole life. I chose to highlight the Mexican family tradition of making huge pots of tamales on Christmas eve, but in my Mexican-American version of a breakfast tamal by stuffing it with breakfast sausage, potatoes, and cheese. This one was scored the roughest, but let me say I learned when I need to focus on a sponsored ingredient, I better focus on the sponsored ingredient. Haha. Next year- shooting for that #1 spot, but aren't we all. And, that's what keeps me hungry more. ;-)

Doing my Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles thang, y'all! Or like Simone would say, no, no, I'm the next Mincey!!

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