The Ungarnished Truth: A Cooking Contest Memoir

Overview

A woman, a chicken dinner, a million dollars-and a romp through the heartland of America's competitive cooking culture.

When Ellie Mathews entered her Salsa Couscous Chicken in the venerable Pillsbury Bake-Off, she never imagined she'd win the grand prize. Immediately after Alex Trebek announced that her dish had won a million dollars, she was thrown into the limelight. Booked with Oprah and Rosie-even photographed for the New York Times in a vest made of ostrich feathers-she ...

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The Ungarnished Truth: A Cooking Contest Memoir

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Overview

A woman, a chicken dinner, a million dollars-and a romp through the heartland of America's competitive cooking culture.

When Ellie Mathews entered her Salsa Couscous Chicken in the venerable Pillsbury Bake-Off, she never imagined she'd win the grand prize. Immediately after Alex Trebek announced that her dish had won a million dollars, she was thrown into the limelight. Booked with Oprah and Rosie-even photographed for the New York Times in a vest made of ostrich feathers-she instantly became the reigning queen of chickendom, the Pillsbury "It Girl" of the moment.

With a dash of self-deprecating humor and a pinch of biting social commentary, Ellie takes readers on her roller coaster ride to the top of the food chain as the Pillsbury prizewinner. As a cooking contest insider, she goes behind the counter and beyond the aprons and oven mitts to reveal a fascinating slice of Americana.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A page-turner."
-Seattle Post- Intelligencer

"Enthusiastic and sharp."
-Kirkus Reviews

"With graceful writing, Mathews takes us behind the scenes at the Bake-Off."
-Minneapolis Star Tribune

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425225783
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/3/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,007,162
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellie Mathews has been entertaining-and winning-cooking competitions off and on for fifteen years. She is also a short-story writer and the author of a prize-winning novel for young readers, The Linden Tree, and a nonfiction book based on her grandfather's 1913 journey to Antarctica, Ambassador to the Penguins.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2008

    A good book about a humble woman

    Reading this book was an interesting experience the whole way through. When I read a book, I like to really like a few things: the writing style, the people in the book, and the layout of the book. In the beginning of the book, though, nothing seemed to really pull me in- it's one of those books you really need to stick through with. Ellie Mathews seemed like an ordinary person, and at first almost a little flaunty in her manor of talking about herself- but then I realized that was how it was suppose to be. I mean, come on, it's a book about her and her experiences. Te writing style itself was actually pretty good. The vocabulary was good, and the way she seemed to have labored over making everything precise and she made it look appealing: half-way through the book I began to think I would enter the Pillsbury contest. The layout was lacking, though- there's no table of contents because there are no chapter titles. It's very simply laid out, as you could probably guess from the cover. The same question kept popping into my head, though: why did Ellie enter cooking contests if she didn't expect to win? I know the experience was great and all, but she could have put a little more forethought into what would happen if she did win. And in this way, Ellie is humble. Humble in her own little way though, and with a rebellious streak. All and all, by the end of the book, I liked Ellie Mathews a lot more then I thought I would. I definitely recommend this book not only to foodies, but to anyone who just wants to read a good book.

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