Patricia Harmon (1999)

Patricia Harmon began entering recipe contests in 1989, but she says she didn’t really get cooking until 1996, when she retired from her office job. Since then, she’s been a three-time Pillsbury Bakeoff Finalist. $5,000 as well as a finalist in 8 other national cook-offs, including three times in the National Beef Cook-Off and twice representing Pennsylvania in the National Chicken Cook-Off, and finalist in 2009 National Cornbread Cook-Off. Pat’s cooking prowess has also earned her a 1997 trip to Italy for a local radio recipe contest. “I started entering recipe contests because I have always loved to cook and bake,” said Pat, who is an avid Pittsburgh Steeler fan.

NOTABLE WINS: Finalist in 1996, 1998 and 2002 Pillsbury Bakeoff; Winner, 1996 KDKA radio “Taste of Italy” contest; Winner, Grand Prize $5,000 Winner, 1997 Reddi-Wip Contest; Grand Prize Winner, 1999 and 2003 Taste of Home Cooking School; $10,000 Category winner in 2001 National Beef Cook-Off; Grand Prize Winner in Heinz Tailgate Recipe Contest, Steeler Game Package; Grand Prize in Bon Appetit Magazine Contest, a Sub-Zero Wine Refrigerator; Grand Prize Dell Laptop Computer in Newman’s Own “Back-to-School Recipe Contest; Weber gas grill grand prize in Quck & Simple Magazine grilling contest; numerous wins in Better Homes & Gardens Monthly Recipe Contest; numerous runner-up cash and prizes in various contests including several $1,000 prizes in USA Rice Federation contests as well as many in Taste Of Home’s magazines.

FUNNIEST PRIZE: Publication of her winning recipe in Woman’s Day magazine. “I didn’t know it until they sent me a copy of the magazine.”

ADVICE: “Think quick and easy and follow the trends for most contests. If you think something is too simple to win, enter it anyway. It may be just what the judges are looking for.”


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