HEAD COOK: Adrienne Vradenburg
COMPETITION: World Recipe Championship
My culinary journey began in the Hoosier State of Indiana, where I was born and raised. Growing up, I felt so fortunate to have 2 wonderful parents that shared their love of cooking with me. However, both had very different and unique cooking styles, from which is where my culinary style originated. My dad, a real outdoorsman, taught me how to cook and clean fish, hunt and fry up Morel mushrooms, and cook a pot of beans over a campfire. On the other hand, my mom was always in the kitchen cooking and inventing new recipes (her famous lasagna) with just the ingredients that she had on hand. Most of all, she taught me how to cook with the most important ingredient of all- Love! After I moved to California, away from parents, I had to fend for myself, so I had to really knuckle down and learn how to cook. I grew up eating great food from my parents, and I knew fast food wasn't going to cut it. I am a nature girl, and earned my nickname "Goldilocks" when I was volunteering in Alaska- I would bake homemade brownies every week and hike/deliver them to the trail crews in Bear Country. In California, I was an elementary teacher for 10 years, where I taught my students how to cook in a solar oven. During my teaching career, I started doing online cooking contests just to earn some extra money. To my surprise, I ended up winning more than 20 major contests. To me, it isn't about winning, it is about the journey, the creativity used, and the failures along the way that serve as learning experiences.