Guys - I had the most wonderful experience of a lifetime yesterday!!! My precious daughter is a professional blogger...you can find her at http://www.charmandsass.com/..
..anyway!!! She totally scored a pair of VIP passes to the cooking show and book signing with Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone yesterday. For those of you that don't know him - here's a little bio! Most of you that know him, probably know him from his guest appearances on TV's "The Biggest Loser"
Curtis Stone (born 4 November 1975) is an Australian celebrity chef, author and television personality, nicknamed "The Quiet Terminator" by fans following his performance on The Celebrity Apprentice 3.
He was born in Melbourne, Australia. Stone began cooking with his grandmother at the age of five. He attended Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School. His father, Bryan Stone, is an accountant.
Stone studied for a Bachelor of Business degree before deciding to pursue a career as a chef. He worked at some top Australian restaurants before leaving to work at various restaurants in London. In Australia, he debuted his cooking career at age 18 at the Savoy Hotel. On completing his qualifications as a chef, Stone began cooking in London under Marco Pierre White at the Café Royal and Mirabelle. He went on to become head chef at White's Quo Vadis where he worked with James Robertson who went on to own the London Steakhouse Company with Marco Pierre White.
 TelevisionStone returned briefly to Australia to make the travelling cooking show Surfing the Menu (on ABC TV) with another chef, Ben O'Donoghue.
Stone had appeared on a number of cooking programmes in the UK, including Dinner in a Box, Good Food Live and Saturday Kitchen. He also hosted the first season of My Restaurant Rules in Australia. Beginning in May 2006, Stone hosted Take Home Chef on TLC in the United States, which went on to become an international hit for TLC.
Stone appears regularly on NBC's Today. His second appearance in 2007 featured him visiting the home of host Meredith Vieira to teach her how to cook, as her children had complained that she did not know how. On 14 January 2011, Stone co-hosted the fourth hour of Today with Hoda Kotb. He has also appeared on Martha Stewart's show Martha, Access Hollywood, Lopez Tonight and The Nate Berkus Show. On 7 June 2011, Curtis was a guest on Conan, where he taught Conan O'Brien how to prepare the perfect date night meal.
Stone has appeared on Food Network's Iron Chef America in the episode "Battle Skipjack Tuna," where he lost to Iron Chef Bobby Flay. Stone has also appeared on several episodes of The Biggest Loser.
Stone was a candidate on The Celebrity Apprentice 3, which premiered in March 2010 and was the third installment to the celebrity version of The Apprentice. The show premiered on 14 March 2010, and Stone was fired on 16 May 2010, placing fourth out of 14 contestants. Stone has also made appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Stone appeared on a segment of Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure, a four-day television event that aired in January 2011. Stone threw the talk show host a beach barbecue on Hamilton Island's Whitehaven Beach using Australia's best seafood, meats and produce.
In June 2010 it was announced that Stone would join the judging and investment panel on NBC's new series America's Next Great Restaurant alongside Bobby Flay, Steve Ells and Lorena Garcia. The first season aired in 2011 directly followed by the fourth edition of The Celebrity Apprentice, where Stone made a guest appearance on the first episode.
In 2011, Stone became host of the third season of Bravo's Top Chef Masters, replacing Kelly Choi. In January 2012, Bravo announced Stone would co-host a new culinary reality show called Around the World in 80 Plates with fellow celebrity chef Cat Cora. The series, which premiered in May 2012, follows 12 chefs competing in a culinary race across 10 countries in 44 days.
Stone has appeared in ads for Coles Supermarkets, Hy-Vee and Great Grains cereal. In 2011, Stone described to GQ Australia his relationship with big supermarkets: "I never even thought about working for a supermarket. But there’s that feeling you get when you walk down the street and someone comes up and says, ‘You know what? We never used to cook fish in our house. Since we’ve tried that salmon recipe we have it once a week.’ The feeling that gives you is worth a million other things".
In August 2012 he appeared in an episode of MasterChef Australia All-Stars.
In 2007 Stone hosted the Great Barrier Feast Culinary Masterclass event on Hamilton Island featuring other notable Australian chefs, including Geoff Jansz, Shannon Bennett, and Justin North.
In 2008 Stone developed "Kitchen Solutions by Curtis Stone," a line of kitchen utensils, accessories and glassware. He also has written a series of cookbooks, including Surfing the Menu: Two Chefs, One Journey: A Fresh Food Adventure and Cooking With Curtis: Easy, Everyday and Adventurous Recipes for the Home Cook. His latest book, Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone: Recipes to Put You in My Favorite Mood, was released in 2009.
In 2010, Stone gave a cooking class and demonstration at the Singapore Sun Festival. In October 2010 it was announced that Stone had created recipes for in-flight meals for United Airlines.
Curtis Stone is also creating recipes for West Des Moines, IA-based Hy-Vee grocery stores.
In 2011, he was appointed as an Ambassador for Cottage by the Sea, alongside Big Wave Surfer Jeff Rowley and Olympian Cathy Freeman. These high profile Australians have been enlisted by Cottage by the Sea as Ambassadors, who give up their own time to support the charity to raise needed funds and share why children in need deserve to have the experience of their lifetime.
(information from wikipedia!!!)
SSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOO back to my story!!! The weekend was totally busy - worked on Friday - took my boys out for Crawfish (yup - it's mudbug season!!) and a few Micheladas on Friday night, cleaned house, went to see "Oblivion" Saturday afternoon (it wasn't THAT great - but Tom still looks good for nearly 50...or is he already????) then went out to the Bar with a couple of girlfriends Saturday night (more Micheladas - too many =( honestly). I'm not much of a drinker, but I was feeling great Saturday night - so I drank....yeah....DRANK =( I had an awesome time though - and it felt so good to feel good enough to get out and have fun!!! Got home around midnight, and believe it or not, was up Sunday morning at 5 am!! I couldn't believe that! I went to the grocery store at 7...uuugh....I hate buying groceries!!! Actually - I love it - I just dont like spending the money! Came home, put the groceries away, and started getting dolled up for the Meet N Greet!! I had made a stop into Dot's on Saturday, thinking that I would like to buy something cute to wear - wasn't particularly thrilled with the outfit - but I loved the shoes!!!! Picked my baby girl up at 11, and off we went!!!
When we arrived at the Tanger Outlets, I thought I was going to just squeal with excitement! Actually - I think I did squeal! There were FOOD TRUCKS everywhere!!! All I could think of was the food network show "The Great Food Truck Race". I was like a kid in a candy store!!! Since I am a baker, we hit the cake ball store first - bought three - they were pretty - but I liked mine better - however - the taste was PHENOM!! Key Lime, Lemon, and Ginger Beer....I only had a bite of the key lime, none of the lemon, and I had the whole Ginger Beer one - and I gotta tell ya they were worth every last little calorie =) Next we hit the cupcake truck....mmmm....small selection, we chose the tropical cupcake - it was pretty - had a sugar surfboard on top that was cute but was not hand made, and the cupcake left a lot to be desired. The cake itself was very moist, but it was lacking something - needed some tang....a little lemon might have just done the trick! The last truck we hit was called "Pocket to Me", as you can tell by the name - everything on the menu was in a pita pocket! That one- I have to say, I really really enjoyed! I had the fried shrimp pocket, it was topped with mixed baby greens and remolaude sauce, and my daughter had the fish pocket, which was fried cod topped with cole slaw. It was absoloutely delish!!!
After we finished stuffing our pie holes, we checked in at the VIP desk next to the stage where the cooking demonstration was to take place. It was so neat - we got these nifty laniards that had Curtis's photo on them, and stated in BIG BOLD LETTERS - VIP ACCESS. Was so cool - we got to sit in reserved seating - just a few feet from the stage, and were first in line for book signing and photographs. I don't have the professional photos that were taken yet - I expect them to be on line tomorrow....but I digress!!!!
So - Curtis comes out, and totally charms the whole audience...can I just say that he has eyes that could stop a train, and the most beautiful pearly whites I have ever seen? Lemme tell ya ladies....the food wasn't the only thing there that was smokin hot!! And talk about funny....this guy has such a wonderful sense of humor...he had the whole audience rolling - throughout the whole presentation!
ok ok - I'm rambling....long story short - he did two demos, then it was my turn for my five minutes of fame!!! The first two demos had taken up most of his allocated time, so he asked if anyone in the audience had a stop watch, and made a bet that he could complete his beef stir fry in 5 minutes or he would stay and cook everyone dinner =) I couldn't believe it....no one spoke up...and I thought to myself...damn ladies!!! Everyone of you has a smartphone - don't you know they have stopwatches on there? Of course I took no time volunteering - and before you know it - I was being helped on stage - holding the hand of that beautiful Curtis Stone!!! And girls....are you ready for this??? The first thing he said to me was "Hello Gorgeous - by the way - I LOVE YOUR SHOES!!!" ARE YOU FLIPPING KIDDING ME???? At that very moment I thought to myself....then you should come home with me and see the OTHER 77 pairs I have!! You would love them!!! I was thanking the good lord at that moment that I made that trip to Dot's....it is TRUE! With the right pair of shoes, a girl CAN accomplish anything!!!! So - there you have it - there I was, on stage, flirting and laughing and hamming it up with Curtis Stone, and timing him to make sure he finished his stir fry in 5 minutes! I hafta tell ya - it was the experience of a lifetime - and when he finished it (in 4 min 55 seconds) he even FED it to me!! Hugs and 2 kisses and off I went, to spend the rest of the day in complete bliss!!
I only have 1 photo to share right now as my daughter hasnt posted the rest of them yet....but here ya go gals!! Eat your hearts out!! Sorry - I don't really mean that - I wish each and every one of you could have been there....you sooooo would have loved this man!!
Anywho....thank you so much to Tanger outlets for putting on the event, and a huge thank you with all the love I can give to my baby girl for giving me this once in a lifetime experience!! And to Curtis Stone - you have officially replaced Aaron Lewis as man of my dreams....You Rawk!!!!
Head outta the clouds and back to work....****sigh****Happy Monday Sisters!!!