Spoiler alert: I spoil how my audition right in the title of the post. Which you’ve already read. Tah-dah!
Heather and I got to the audition just before 1pm. As I mentioned before, last year was wait, wait, wait, wait (and more waiting). This year the R2R people were super efficient. I got my number and was called in under 15 minutes. About another 10 minutes getting mic’d and doing prep (washing hands, plating food). Then I was brought before my judge.
There were three tracks of tasters, each of them a PC Product Taster. Heather had heard murmurings that one of them was very tough. Guess who I got?
As I’m walked out, I’m shown my mark. Stand there, and when the director says go– you walk up and do your pitch. The entire audition was being done in a giant tent, with the tasting tables behind a velvet rope. Friends and family were herded by PA’s to stand behind you while you auditioned. Heather was there, and as a pleasant surprise, so was my mother and father. Go cheering section!
I got a nice smile from my taster over the styrafoam cake gag. I was able to pretty much fully present all the points I wanted from my Powerless Point. We both agreed about the importance of competing in the gluten-free market. Then she tasted the cake. She enjoyed the taste, but ultimately told me that it wouldn’t be going on. She said she wasn’t 100% sold on the texture due to the ground almonds.
Now, when you get rejected from a competition like this, be sure to take it with a grain of salt (which the cake, ironically, has none of). Keep in mind a few things: your recipe has already been tasted off camera. There are producers and directors whispering in everyone’s ear. They might already have a recipe like yours form a different city. Or they might have a CONTESTANT like you. Remember, they are casting a TV show.
Don’t take it personally!
So I thanked her for her feedback, and that was the end. Short of replacing the almond flour, it’s an impossible order, but I’ll think about it. In the meantime, I took the remaining 4 cakes and served them to friends, family and co-workers, who all loved it. And in the end, that’s what I really want to do when I bake. Make something that makes people happy. (I wouldn’t complain about $250k).
I came out of the audition much happier than last year. For one thing, I didn’t have to spend 10 hours sitting, waiting, and having no idea what was going on. The process was MUCH more streamlined this year. Kudos to the R2R people for running such a tight ship amongst all the chaos.
Second, all the auditioning was done out in the open surrounded by friends, family and other contestants. It was a much more “alive” atmosphere that being herded into a “silent” hallway then thrown in front of judges.
Third, and most importantly, I did the absolute best I could. I have the toppest of my top-notch recipes (though I still like Chocolate Chili). I was 100% fully prepared with my pitch– last year I really felt like I stumbled in front of the judges and didn’t sell myself the best I could. I was strong and confident through the whole process– from the video right up to the live tasting. I did everything I could the absolute best I could, did everything I set out to do– and let the cake fall where it may.
A lot of good still came out of the process. I had a lot of fun shooting the video, and learned a ton about video editing. I’m an absolute MASTER at making this recipe now– I can whip up one of these cakes like a pro. I got to shake the rust off my jaws and practice some public speaking. And I got some words written in this blog. And a photo of me and my prop was featured on the front-page of R2R’s facebook profile. =)
Would I do it again? Hell, yeah! There’s always next year. I’m already brainstorming ideas.
Good luck to all the gold ticket holders, and may your road be long.