Practice Makes Perfect!
When we asked Leora Breese what inspired her homemade Shakshuka Sunrise Burger recipe, she was quick to say “My big sis, Kendra! I wouldn’t have come up with this recipe at all, if it wasn’t for her. She introduced me to shakshuka, and soon after I tried it, I said, wow, this will taste really great on a burger.”
Although Leora is our 2019 Sutter Home Build a Better Burger Recipe Contest Grand Prize Winner, the entire recipe contest entry process came about by complete happenstance.
“I’ve never entered any kind of cooking competition before, but for some reason this popped out at me.”
According to Leora, “I’m a certified massage therapist and one day when I was between appointments, I started scrolling Facebook and saw this advertisement for the Sutter Home Build a Better Burger Recipe Contest. I’ve never entered any kind of cooking competition before, but for some reason this popped out at me. Maybe it’s because I had this shakshuka burger recipe rolling around in my head ever since my sister first introduced me to shakshuka. Who knows?”
“The next thing I know, I submitted my Shakshuka Sunrise Burger recipe paired with the refreshingly light Sutter Home Pinot Grigio. Then I waited and waited and waited. Two months go by and finally get an email saying I was in the semi-finals. Honestly, I thought to myself, this must be a scam. I actually kept thinking that until I received two tickets to go to Seattle to compete in the semi-finals.”
“I practiced the heck out of this recipe…”
What happened next was a beautiful lesson in humility and perseverance. Even though Leora had already been invited to compete in the semi-finals, rather than rest on her laurels, she decided she’d better perfect her recipe by practicing it over and over again. “I practiced the heck out of this recipe, because you know, when I finally tried it, I knew it needed finessing, must have made it eight or nine times before the semi-finals, then a few more times before the finals.”
When Leora was asked if she felt that having the least amount of technical cooking knowledge and food competition experience was an advantage or not, Leora’s answer was as delightful as her winning recipe. “I think it can work both ways, right. I may not technically be there, but I also don’t know the rules, so I can break them when I want.” We’re glad she did!
“…this colorful eye-catching dish turns heads at the barbecue without breaking the bank!”
Leora loves sharing this about her $25,000-winning recipe: “My breakfast burger is a gorgeous mashup of two of my favorite foods: breakfast burgers and shakshuka. The tomato, bell pepper and caramelized onion spread is a delicious, smoky departure from ketchup, paired with quick-pickled cucumber for a cool crunch and a fried egg with a glorious runny yolk, this colorful eye-catching dish turns heads at the barbecue without breaking the bank!”
When Leora was asked why she chose to pair her Shakshuka Sunrise Burger with Sutter Home Pinot Grigio, what she said made delicious sense. “The Pinot Grigio is a nice, cool departure from the pickles and the little bit of spice I added to the tomato sauce, plus I like the way the acidity in the tomatoes plays off the acidity in the wine. They both just the complement each other perfectly.”
When we asked Leora what she and her husband, Jason, would do with the grand prize money she just won from the Sutter Home Build a Better Burger Contest, she didn’t hesitate to share that they’ve both been saving like crazy for a down payment on a home, and this will definitely help them get there. We’re so grateful and excited!