HEAD COOK: Tamie Joeckel
COMPETITION: Bacon World Championship
A 4-time qualifier for World Food Championships in Bacon, Tamie Joeckel is a former Fortune 25 senior executive with a passion for cooking! A single mother of 3 and glam-ma ‘Mimi’ to Abigail and Madeline (ages 6 and 8), she hails from a 4th generation, cattle raising Texas family and is a boot scootin’, self-taught home cook.
Tamie is well known in her social circles for her skills in planning events and parties that sometimes last 3 days! Friends and family know that food will always be the center of any event she hosts. Her cooking style is an amalgamation of Southern Comfort, Tex-Mex, Cajun – and other flavors she’s experienced in her global travel. One thing’s for sure – on every menu there’s usually something sweet and spicy. One of her favorite things to do is cook her family's heirloom recipes with her grandgirls - passing on the traditions!
She entered the world of contest cooking on a whim in 2012 by submitting a family recipe in the Smucker’s Family Traditions contest and won $25,000 with her Ginger Orange Marmalade Pork Tenderloin. Hooked by the contest bug, she has since participated in numerous contests with cumulative winnings exceeding $50,000 in cash, travel and prizes. An Army mom, she is very involved in her church and charities such as No Kid Hungry, Common Threads, Wounded Warrior Project and Soldier’s Angels and always donates at least 50% of her winnings to charity. She works in Houston with an inner city program teaching young mothers and teens to cook with fresh ingredients.
In 2015, Tamie appeared as a semi-finalist on the ABC’s Kelly & Michael Show America’s Next Grill Star. Her chipotle fig baby back ribs so impressed Houston-born Michael Strahan that they’ve remained in touch even after he left the show. Tamie jokes that she’s usually the bridesmaid and seldom the bride in contests because she usually shuns social media voting contests. However, she has been a finalist or semi-finalist in contests sponsored by Kraft, Smithfield, Gnarly Head, Riuniti, Mark West, Dole and the Texas State Fair. She is a frequent contributor to local Houston shows such as Good Morning Texas.
Normally joined by her sister and brother in law at WFC, she’ll have new sous help this year since they are in the process of restoring a historic homestead in South Texas to become a wedding venue.
When Tamie grows up, she wants to play more golf, own a wine bistro and manage the events, dinners and catering at her sister’s venue. She’s in the process of building ‘Mimi’s Tiny House Farm’ on property next to her sister to house wedding party guests. Certainly, her Bacon Benedicts will be the star of the brunch!