Monday, June 10, 2019

Judging the National Festival of Breads

2 years ago at my first Home Baking Association meeting, the Co-founders and directors of the National Festival of Breads from Manhattan, Kansas asked me to be a judge at the 2019 festival. It seemed like a long time away...but it sure came fast! This was my first trip to Kansas and I have never felt more loved and welcomed into a community!
I arrived a few days early to get ready for my demonstrations and I got a glimpse at all the preparations that happen. I can tell you, it was really remarkable! I worked really hard to be ready, but also had so much fun.

One of the best parts was that my mom and dad were there...way ahead of time. Ha ha!


The co-founders and directors Cindy Faulk and Julene Derouchey are two of the the most outstanding women ever. It was truly an honor to work with them!


Apparently my parents liked it there too...
Part of the trip included a visit to the wheat fields of Kansas and the working farms in the area.
My dad loved looking at all the farm equipment and getting a first hand view of the growing techniques. So did I!
We also got to see the Kansas Wheat Commission's  Innovation Center at Kansas State. The greenhouse was growing heirloom wheat varieties from all over the world and I was in grain geek heaven!
 The labs are state-of-the-art!
 So is the Wheat Genetic Genomic Resources Center Gene Bank!
 The greenhouse tests and grows thousands of varieties and keeps the seeds viable.

 It was phenomenal to see the process in person!
 It was also remarkable to see the actual testing of the genetics!
Look how tall some of these wheat varieties are!


The wheat variety seed vault was awesome!


Then it was back to the festival for more dough prep and getting ready for the big event.

 My view from the stage was pretty epic!
 The winners were great!




I will never forget this experience!

Thank you so much National Festival of Breads for having me as a judge and for allowing me to demonstrate my breads. It was an amazing honor!

Always My Very Best,
Chef Tess




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