Taste of America winner RaChelle Hubsmith prepares for 2017 food sporting season

Photo Courtesy RaChelle Hubsmith RaChelle Hubsmith, 2016 Taste of America winner, displays a perfectly-baked pie.

Having entered the food competition industry with great success in 2016, North Logan resident RaChelle Hubsmith already has her eye on 2017 opportunities. Hubsmith’s efforts this year were sponsored by Camp Chef, and she is working with the company to coordinate the production of several YouTube videos, demonstrating how her signature recipes can be baked in Camp Chef’s smoker ovens. Hubsmith will also have a recipe featured in the March 2017 issue of <em>Food Network</em> magazine. The issue will hit newsstands on Feb. 9, 2017.

Hubsmith, 39, is a mother of three who grew up helping her own mother prepare meals for their family. Her knowledge and expertise, she said, have been passed down through multiple generations, and she has fond memories of licking the beaters as a child as she baked with her mom. During business hours, Hubsmith works as a real estate appraiser in the Cache County Assessor’s Office.  After hours, she is most often found in the kitchen.

“It’s such a great stress reliever coming home from work, putting your apron on, and getting your hands in some dough,” she said.

While she loves cooking in general, Hubsmith admits, “baking is really where my heart is at.”

A longtime baker and decorator of specialty birthday cakes and wedding cakes for family and friends, Hubsmith participated in her first formal baking event in June 2016, when she auditioned for the Great Holiday Baking Show. Hubsmith made it to the final round of auditions as a newcomer, and she learned from fellow contestants about “food sporting” and the food competition industry. She began entering competitions in July and represented Utah in the prestigious <a href=”https://worldfoodchampionships.com/news/610/wfc-announces-taste-of-america-challenge-winners”>Taste of America Challenge</a> in Orange Beach, Alabama, where she won first place.

A qualifying event for the November 2016 <a href=”https://worldfoodchampionships.com/news/610/wfc-announces-taste-of-america-challenge-winners”>World Food Championships</a> (WFC), the Taste of America competition gave Hubsmith immediate credibility as an up-and-coming industry contender. Among 430 contestants at the WFC competing in multiple categories, Hubsmith achieved 14<sup>th</sup> place in her division—“bacon.”

“The most important thing I learned at WFC, among many things,” she said, “is that presentation really matters because you eat with your eyes first. I really have a passion for art, so as I’m making a cake, for example, it’s important to me that it looks pretty.  When I’m working with fondant, gum paste, and marzipan, I get to go to town and make some really fun creations.”

As she prepares for the 2017 food competition season, Hubsmith is developing new recipes and exchanging tips and suggestions with other food sporting participants. She will also continue to recruit her family members, friends, and coworkers for taste-testing.  

“If I come up with something that is a big hit,” she said, “I’ll possibly use it in a competition.”

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