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Hats off to the chef


by Beth Cefalu

NEGAUNEE -- A Negaunee resident took the cake for top chef, placing sixth in the World Food Championships held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Brenda Washnock isn't a professional chef by any means, just a mom who took her hobby to the next step. Washnock said she initially entered for fun and experience. As one of the only amateurs pitted against real chefs, her only goal was to not come in last. And instead, she placed sixth.

"Some people that were very talented got disqualified," said Washnock.

Washnock said hearing she placed sixth was amazing.

"It was a real happy feeling," she stated.

Washnock spent $4,000 on the competition which only won her $1,000, but she said it was worth every penny. The Negaunee resident always had a passion for cooking but didn't pursue it until after her kids were off to college. She won her first contest last year and since then has continued to turn up the heat.

"There's something about getting a win under your belt…it gave me so much confidence to try different things," Washnock explained.

Her main specialty lies with ethnic foods. Two different meals, both homemade recipes, in two days won her the sixth place title.

The newly-crowned World Recipe Champ said she loves cooking the meals as much as others enjoy eating them and will continue competing.

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