I love my hometown of Plant City, Florida! I really do! One minute you can see folks decked out in camo from head to toe pushing a Walmart shopping cart down the road, and the next you get to meet up and chat with reality TV show champions! It doesn’t get any better than that, folks!
Earlier this week, the owners of Fringe (a super-fab boutique in PC) invited me to come out to a book-signing event they were holding for Whitney Miller, Fox’s MasterChef Season 1 winner!
At age 22 she won MasterChef, and has been featured across the globe in Southern cuisine cooking promotions and as a judge in food competitions including the 2013 World Food Championship. Her recipes and articles have appeared in People, Women’s Health, Southern Living, Clean Eating and Cooking Light magazines. Whitney also travels the country using her seasoned palate as a food judge. And she currently resides in Plant City!
My hubby and I have been fans of MasterChef from the beginning (and TONIGHT starts another season of MasterChef KIDS!), so I was all about it! I always loved Whitney’s fun personality, so it was a joy to meet her in person!
Now, let me stop for a second to tell you about Fringe. Started by family and friends who own a fabulous local hair salon, Fringe is a place where you can get anything from a hostess gift to local treasures and even huge name-brand items!
The girls say it’s for those who just “want a little fringe” added to their lives! Check out what I found there…
AWESOME stuff, right?! Let me just say that the next time I host a party I’ll be happy to accept any hostess gift from Fringe!
Soon it was time for the main event…
…and Whitney arrived and began to sign cookbooks for her fans.
In between signings, she and I chatted about a few things she has going on these days!
Kristen: What was the greatest “nugget” you took away from the MasterChef experience?
Whitney: I would say the culinary training. I had never had any actual culinary training up until that point, so just learning knife skills and watching others and following the directions that the judges were giving taught me SO much! Invaluable experience, for sure!
Kristen: What does life look like for Whitney Miller these days?
Whitney: (Laughing) Oh, BUSY! But it’s a good busy! Between the tour for the new cookbook and recipe testing and my work I do with recipe creation for various companies, I really do stay busy. And it’s about to get even busier, because I’ve just agreed to begin working with John Rivers at his restaurant The Coop in Winter Park! I’ll be working with recipe creation and menu development, and will work as his chef for a few days each week! It’s a neat opportunity!
Note: Rivers is also the owner of ten 4 Rivers Smokehouses, The Sweet Shop, and a new concept: 4 Rivers Downtown. He is also the author of “The Southern Cowboy” cookbook.
Kristen: Do you have a favorite dish to prepare?
Whitney: I’ve always loved desserts. From the time I was very young, desserts were my favorite, and I enjoyed baking. I actually wanted to be a pastry chef originally, and I really think that’s what gave me the edge in MasterChef. Most of the other contestants didn’t want to have anything to do with desserts, and I loved them! I think that is one of the things that really helped me stand out.
Kristen: What do you just LOVE about the new cookbook?
Whitney: I feel like this one is much more personal than the first one. The first one was photographed in New York and things like that, but this one I was really able to make more personal and include my family in. I really like that!
Kristen: Any other tidbits you want to share with us?
Whitney: Well, I’d like people to know that inside this cookbook are recipes that are my real family recipes! I mean, my grandma’s biscuits are in this one! I worked side-by-side with her in the kitchen and kinda had to translate her handfuls of flour into cups and her dashes of salt into teaspoons, you know? She didn’t use “actual” measurements. But I was able to capture them for this cookbook – and now everyone else can make her biscuits, too! That’s special!
I thoroughly enjoyed my chat with the lovely Whitney! She really is as genuine and sweet as she seems, and I appreciate that so much! I know the girls at Fringe do, too!
And here’s the cookbook:
If you’d like to purchase a copy, you can easily do so via Amazon. Just CLICK HERE!
You can also find her first cookbook on Amazon!
If you’re interested in that one, just CLICK HERE!
Whitney also brought a couple of her amazing dishes along with her to the event, like her Succotash:
Does that not look incredible?!
Don’t forget, if YOU want to taste Whitney’s creations for yourself, visit The Coop, located in Winter Park, Florida! (If you can’t make it there, just check out their website by CLICKING HERE!)
You can follow Whitney herself through the following avenues:
Her Website: http://whitneymiller.net/
Her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WhitneyMillerH
Her Instagram: https://instagram.com/whitneymillerh/
Her Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/fruitful10/
Her Twitter: https://twitter.com/whitneymillerh
Her YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/whitneymillermc
Are you a MasterChef fan? Do you remember Whitney? Who will be watching MasterChef KIDS right along with me on Fox tonight?!
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!