Real Women of Philadelphia Winner Reception | Toronto Teacher Mom

Real Women of Philadelphia Winner Reception

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Wednesday night, I attended what was likely one of the most anticipated events among some of Canada's most talented cooking fanatics. Starting mid-April, Real Women of Philadelphia called upon Canadian women to join their online cooking community and share videos of themselves making their most creative recipes that use Philly cream cheese in one of four categories: Appetizer, Side Dish, Entrée and Dessert. Over 1,000 video recipe entries were submitted across the country and were narrowed down to 16 finalists.

Andrea Grieco, Audrina, Leeanne Bayley-Hay and Angela Amati *
Side Dish
Sue Faber, Elise Copps-Smith, Miriam Borys and Candice Meighen *
Elisa Hendricks, Lyndsay Wells, Mandy Cmoc and Danielle Abray *

Laurie Pearson, JoHanna Hyde, Lisa M. and Kristen Eppich *
After a final cook-off here in Toronto, four home cooks were selected to win an opportunity of a lifetime. The winners will take the reins from Canadian cooking queen Anna Olson and become the new hosts of the Real Women of Philadelphia. Not only will they receive such a distinguishing title, but they will also receive $20,000 each in prize money and will contribute recipes to an online cookbook. Can I tell you how fabulous they all looked? Anna Olson looked particularly stunning. You should have seen her heels!

Anna Olson Real Women of Philadelphia
The lovely Anna Olson and myself.

Their recipes made their debut at the gala dinner at the Thompson Hotel and they were quite delectable. The first winning dish was the Sweet and Savoury Tarltets by Angela Amati. The whipped cream cheese filling topped with poached pears was perfectly balanced with the salty pancetta.

Sweet and Savoury Tartlets by Angela Amati *
The winning side dish was the Cauliflower Crème Brulée by Elise Copps-Smith. I have never been a fan of crème brulée and I found the topping to be a bit too sweet but the cauliflower itself was tasty. I had my eyes set on the winning entrée, however, seeing as I'm a carnivore at heart. The Creamy Pistachio and Mango Chutney Stuffed Pork by Lyndsay Wells was not only full of flavour but moist and tender. More, please!

Cauliflower Crème Brulée by Elise Copps-Smith and Creamy Pistachio and Mango Chutney Stuffed Pork by Lindsay Wells *

And finally, we were treated to a scrumptious serving of Laurie Pearson's Deep Fried Cheesecake. Me, oh my! Was it ever tasty! This Philadelphia Cream Cheese mini-cheesecake wrapped in a deep-fried tortilla shell was so good, it turned me into a convert. Yes, I never eat cheesecake but that may very well be a thing of the past. This is a dessert I could definitely chase my next meal with. Only, a knife might come in handy. Also, hats off to Laurie who manages a household of ten (yes, that's 10!) children and she looks younger than me! Must be all that cheesecake...

Deep Fried Cheesecake by Laurie Pearson *

In the end, it seemed that all the finalists came out as winners because they gained new and enriching friendships amongst their competitors as well as through the online community at Real Women of Philadelphia. Their bond was evident throughout the evening and it was heartwarming to bear witness to it. It serves as a perfect example of how people can connect and relate with perfect strangers from opposite ends of the country who share a common passion, which is all made possible through the power of social media. If you haven't already, you can connect with them too by signing up at I hear there's another contest in the works...

Photos marked with an asterisk have been provided by Edelman.

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  1. What a great sounding event and what delicious looking food!

  2. It was wonderful! What a treat to be able to try out the winning dishes!

  3. ooh! that would have been a fun event!

    oh! and you looked really nice! pretty dress! :)

  4. Hello and thank you for posting such a thoughtful blog about the evening. I will carry the memories of that evening throughout my life :-)

  5. Hi Lyndsay!

    I'm so lucky to have been a part of the evening! Everything was fabulous. Congratulations again on your well-deserved achievement!


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