Altadena Now is published daily and will host archives of Timothy Rutt's Altadena blog and his later Altadena Point sites.
Altadena Now encourages solicitation of events information, news items, announcements, photographs and videos.
Please email to: Editor@Altadena-Now.com
- James Macpherson, Editor
- Candice Merrill, Events
- Megan Hole, Lifestyles
- David Alvarado, Advertising
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Altadena’s Bacon Babe Is Whipping up a Dish Worthy of a $100,000 Cash Prize at This Year’s World Food Competition
Altadena’s rising culinary star Jodi Taffel, also known as The Fabulous Bacon Babe, is heading to the World Food Championships in Alabama next month to take home the big win in the form of a $100,000 cash prize. The 2016 Championship event is Taffel’s third attempt to strike it big in first place as she prepares to unleash super-secret bacon-inspired dishes that have a successful track record of winning over the hearts and stomachs of some of the most revered chefs and judges in the culinary game.
“There’s a huge cash prize on the line for first place so everything I make needs to have the ‘wow factor’. Would I go back to a restaurant in another state to order it? I’m looking to take the crown this year,” said Taffel who was unwilling to provide specific details about her upcoming dishes, but is confident that her bacon-inspired recipes will take home the grand prize.
Taffel’s team is one of 430 from across the world who will be seeking the ultimate food crown. She earned the chance to compete at World Food Championships by winning Food Network’s highest rated show, Cutthroat Kitchen, as well as placing 1st out of 9,327 entries in the Westminster Cheddar Recipe Contest.
This will be Taffel’s third WFC bacon competition after having ranked sixth place in the first year and third place in the second year and named the second runner up in 2014.
“In the law of averages going up three places each time means that this year is my turn to win,” said Taffel.
She will now have a shot for a major payday at the Championships, where $100,000 is awarded for the best dish overall and $10,000 is awarded in nine different categories: BBQ, Chili, Dessert, Bacon, Sandwich, Seafood, Burger, Steak, and Recipe, according to a press release.
The WFC is viewed as the “Superbowl of cooking competitions” and has opened doors for the self-taught chef since breaking out in the competition circuit in 2010, according to Taffel.
“It’s put me on a national stage. I’m a home cook that is transitioning into becoming a professional chef,” explained Taffel.
The national stage she is referring to includes high profile television appearances as a competitor on “Master Chef” and also as an actress with a recurring role as Brenda, the Meatball Lady on the Disney Channel show “Shake it Up” among others.
Taffel’s friendly personality and on camera charisma is an aspect of being in the spotlight that she is used to from having a twenty year acting career under her belt.
“Being an actor for so long, I am happiest when the cameras are watching me do what I do. It doesn’t phase me and doesn’t get in my way,” she said.
Taffel feels that she her fans that either tune in or follow her on social media can identify with her on much more of a realistic level than typical television stars.
“I look like everybody that is watching. I don’t look threatening or intimidating. I’m one of the crowd and I think that’s a nice change,” said Taffel.
Taffel’s interest in cooking came about from being on a budget and having lots of downtime as a working actress. She entered the 2010 Grilled Cheese Invitational as a way to attend the festival for free. She naturally took first place out of 250 contestants and hasn’t looked back since.
“That buzz sort of hit me right then and there. It’s a very liberating and artistic process. I get to eat my art,” said Taffel.
Taffel’s recipes are a reflection of her evolution as professional cook in the past five years. She incorporates ethnic spices and various ingredients in recipes that most chef’s do not in order to keep originality at the forefront of her culinary style.
“I make it a point to go in to ethic markets in and around Pasadena to pick up ingredients that I have never heard or seen before and take them home and experiment. I actively seek out these things that I have never heard of before because I figure that if i have never heard of it, I’m sure people I’m competing against haven’t either,” said Taffel.
The Bacon Babe does have one thing to set straight to fellow food lovers.
“I like to call what I do elevated comfort food. While there is a bacon theme to most of my stuff and that’s what I’m known for, that’s not all I do. It’s not all about bacon,” explained Taffel who recently catered vegetarian meals and plans to compete in chicken and duck cooking competitions.
It’s no secret that Taffel’s life has become busier than ever as she continues to enter more competitions and expand her professional horizons in every way she can. Some of hear near future plans include opening her own catering company and hosting a show on Bid Chat—a platform similar to Facebook Live.
“There’s lots of exciting stuff in the works, but this is what I love to do,” said Taffel.
The Bacon Babe heads to the WFC in Orange Beach, Alabama from Nov. 9 to Nov. 15 to compete on the world bacon stage with hopes of taking home the title of the 2016 World Food Champion.
To stay up to date with the Fabulous Bacon Babe and to see her award-winning recipes, visit http://thefabulousbaconbabe.com/.