Sunday, June 22, 2014

In Victory Lane with Sherri Logan Williams

My experience so far with blogging and Facebook has really been loads of fun. I have learned so much- about food and about writing. Along the way I have met some wonderful people and made some amazing friends. Friends who inspire me to work harder, work better, and perfect my techniques. I have learned new skills and refreshed old ones I haven't used in years. Admittedly, I went through a cooking dry spell in my life. Big changes were taking place and I didn't like any of it. I withdrew from who I really was and became a very negative and withdrawn person. That is, until I met some great foodie friends and the fire was reignited.

Every time I see this lady, she is wearing a ribbon !!
Some people come into your life and they just exude happiness and positivity. Sherri Logan Williams is one of those people. She is beautiful, funny, and such a fantastic cook. She encourages others to get in that kitchen and pour out your heart. She sure does, and it shows by the incredible amount of contests and competitions she has won, newspaper articles, TV appearances, and I'm not just talking local here- she won a Super Bowl food contest and was on Good Morning America for Pete's sake !! How can that NOT be inspiring?  In spite of all her winning and basically becoming a celebrity in the foodie world, she remains humble and family focused. Always ready to give advice, share a recipe, or help out a friend, she is the perfect example of what a lady is.

Spicy BBQ Pulled Pork Stuffed Pepper Minis
Since Sherri is fresh off a couple big contests- and WINS, I might add, I thought this might be a great time to catch up with her and share her incredible story with you guys. Maybe she will inspire YOU as well !

Orange Marmalade Jacked Up Whiskey Smoked Drummies
1. Sherri, you have GOT to be the WINNINGEST competitive cook I have ever seen!  How many contests have you won over the years?    How young were you when you won your first and what did you prepare?

I have won over 60 contests. I was 48 years old when I entered my first and that was about 3 1/2 years ago. My first wins were at the Let's Eat Flavors of the Emerald Coast. I took First Place in Appetizers for my Emerald Coast Shrimp Sliders; First Place in Soups for my Spicy Chicken Pozole and was the overall winner. Check out the cookbook at .

2. Do have you a favorite type of contest? I know I'd really like baking or canning contests- what is your cooking niche? 

My niche would have to be anything and everything savory. I love cooking different cuisines using bold flavors and ingredients on hand or easy to find at your local grocery stores.Grilling is one of my favorite cooking methods.

3. How did you get started in competitions? What inspired you?

One day on my way to work, I was listening to the Steve Harvey Show. They were having a recipe contest. I had never entered a recipe contest before. I said to myself "what do you have to lose?" I answered, not a darn thing. I didn't tell a soul that I had entered the contest. I knew if I got a call, it wasn't a prank. I got the call and that was the beginning of my crazy food adventures. I was one of three finalists. We all got a trip to Atlanta to be on the Steve Harvey Morning Show. I didn't win, however it was at that time the greatest feeling I'd ever felt about my cooking. I told my hubby that if I never won another contest, those 15 minutes of fame was worth it and I'd cherish it for the rest of my life. Well, my 15 minutes of fame is still alive. LOL.

Fava Bean Salad with Grilled Smoked Paprika Shrimp
4. You certainly are an inspiration to cooks all over the country, maybe even the world! Has anyone ever said to you "Oh my gosh Sherri, if I hadn't met/read your page/etc I never would have had the guts to do this" ?

I'm always honored and humbled by the comments and messages that I get from people literally across the world telling me how I've inspired them to cook. That's what it's all about! That's my joy and happiness.

5. You've been to the World Food Championships in Las Vegas. What was that experience like?

I've been blessed to have been to the World Food Championships the last two years. I can't explain the feeling that you have except it's an epic experience. One of the most fulfilling things is getting together with my foodie friends and having a Big Food PARTY! Win or lose, it's an amazing adventure.

Sherri is taking over Las Vegas with Adam Feinberg, chef  and
owner of Fein Tasting Foods and BBQ assistant pitmaster with
Crazy Coyote competition team in Colorado.
6. I see from your latest photos from Macy's Great American Grilling Guru contest that you got to meet Cat Cora! That's so exciting ! Have you met other "celebrity" chefs and who were they?

I've met a few: Chef Cat Cora, Chef Sam Tolbert, Dr. BBQ, Chef BenVaughn, Chef Sunny Anderson, Chef Simon Majumdar, Chef Nadia G, Chef Eric Greenspan,Chef David Gaus, Chef Anderson and Chef Vic Vegas.

7. It's hard to believe you are not a professional chef. Your pictures, plating, techniques and choices of ingredients who stand up to ANY professional chef. Have ever had any formal culinary education or do you just enjoy getting down to business in the kitchen?

I've had no formal culinary education. I'm self-taught and enjoy getting down to business in the kitchen.

8. Would you ever consider auditioning for a show like Chopped or Food Network Star ? Why or why not?

I recently did! To be continued.........

9. What's in the future for you, besides more fantastic dishes- Cookbook? Teaching?

I want to have interactive cooking classes with our youth and others. I want them to see that cooking can be fun. It's a skill that we all need to learn. A cookbook is in the future, but right now I'm just enjoying sharing my love and passion for any and everything cooking. Cooking is my medicine and therapy.

10. If you could spend a day cooking with ANY chef in the world, famous or not, who would you choose, and why?

It would have to be Michael Symon. He is my food idol, can cook like nobody's business and he has that infectious laugh that can bring sunshine to any cloudy day.

Broiled Brown Butter Lobster Scampi
It's been a real honor to get to know Sherri. She makes me want to work harder and become a perfectionist, not only in technique, but plating and photography. Just one look at her food photos and you'll know what I mean.  Living in Florida, she posts a lot of photos of amazing seafood creations, which makes me completely jealous. I swear I rarely see this woman without an apron on and a blue ribbon pinned somewhere. That brings out the competitor in me too.

You can follow Sherri's cooking adventure on Facebook at Cooking with Love and Passion.

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