As we begin to head into the holiday season, party and event planning is likely on many people’s minds. Kelsey Barnard Clark along with Hillshire Farm wants to help make throwing a fabulous event a little easier with some tips and recipes.
The season 16 winner of “Top Chef” also wants to help people come up with a great recipe using Hillshire Farm brand cocktail weenies to have a shot at featuring their recipe at a pop-up restaurant in New York City, as well as walk away with $3,000.
Kelsey Barnard Clark Teamed Up With Hillshire Farm For A Tasty Contest
Barnard Clark recently partnered with Hillshire Farm Lit’l Smokies just in time for some fun holiday parties. She also wanted to give some tips to help people to come up with a unique recipe so they can submit it in the contest that’s going on now through October 29, 2023.
“All you have to do is come up with a really unique versatile recipe featuring Hillshire Farm brand cocktail weenies, and then you post it, tag them and do the hashtags that are #LitlCocktailLounge and #HillshireFarmContest. Post it by Oct. 29 and you have a chance to win $3,000,” she told The Blast exclusively.
“So there are three winners that will be determined by who is deemed the best, the top three. They’ll each get $1,000 and each one of them will have their recipe featured at the lounge in New York City. And they’ll be serving their dishes as well. So, it’s a little chance for them to shine and turn the spotlight on somebody else and see what these people can do.”
The “Top Chef” winner shared a recipe she came up with that she called “simple” and “versatile.”
“My favorite recipe that I just came up with is like a little frittata bite. It’s really, really perfect for the holidays. There’s a million different ways you can do a frittata. A frittata is meant to be things you have left over in your fridge and in this situation, it would be that plus whatever style is your favorite of the Hillshire Farm brand of cocktail weenies. It’s very simple,” she said.
“You just mix eggs together, add your toppings, add your cocktail weenies, and then you bake it. That can be done ahead of time and then reheated. Those can actually be done and then frozen and reheated. That is my kind of go-to right now for the holidays. It can be breakfast, it can be lunch, it can be dinner, you can make it fancy, or not, It’s so versatile.”
Kelsey Barnard Clark Shared Tips To Help Home Cooks Come Up With A New Recipe
Keeping things simple can be the key to finding a new recipe you love. For anyone planning to enter the Hillshire Farm Lit’l Smokie contest, Barnard Clark gave a few easy tips to keep in mind.
“As a chef, the way that we always look at things when we’re trying to use a specific product or even if we’re trying to incorporate a product that we’re generally not familiar with or getting stuck on, we stop and think of the flavor profile,” she told The Blast.
“I would just encourage all of the home cooks out there that are playing this game to remember that don’t think about it too complicated, try to have fun with this. And remember that the flavor profile here is smoky and a little bit spicy with some of them, but it’s a lot of flavor but it’s also a really wonderful amount of fat.”
She also wanted to make sure to mention that “fat” isn’t a bad word, even though many people associate it as one.
“It’s actually such an important thing to make a dish good is balanced fat which Hillshire brand cocktail weenies already have. So just in corporate that,” she continued. “Think of places that you normally would use things like bacon or sausage, and you can plug these in and it will probably be a lot better.”
Kelsey Barnard Clark Loves Hosting Parties And Shares Secrets To Help Make It Less Complicated
For Barnard Clark, cooking chose her, not the other way around. She said she’s always been super interested in cooking and how dishes are put together. In addition to cooking, she also has a catering company and has been catering since she was 14-years-old.
Her new book, that’s coming out in about a year, is all about hosting parties. The “Top Chef” winner has some tips to hosting holiday parties that can help make it a little less stressful.
“The biggest thing I would say about the holidays, one of the things I see constantly with people trying to throw parties is trying to do too much right before or during the party. I would just urge anyone, when you’re thinking of a menu and recipes for your holiday spreads, think of things that don’t have to be made last minute, think of things that don’t need to be cooked and served,” she told The Blast. “It needs to be all things that can be cooked ahead of time and reheated. Keep that in mind.”
She also wanted to highlight that the most important part of any event or dinner is that you are enjoying yourself as well as your guests. Barnard Clark said it’s best to design the menu around the thought that you don’t want to be stressed and running around the entire event.
As for her time on the hit show “Top Chef,” she said the show gave her the opportunity to get 10 weeks of mentorship and a chance for her to learn from the “best-of-the-best.”
“The best part, and I say this earnestly, is you do not know you’re going to be the winner the entire time. Even down to the very last episode,” she said. “If anyone thinks they’re going to win, they are clueless to how this works, cause all you can do is focus on the challenge right then and there and listen and be very, very aware and present of what they are saying to you.”
The pop-up experience will only be opened for a limited time from Tuesday, Nov. 7 to Wednesday, Nov. 8. To celebrate Hillshire Farm Lit’l Smokies 40th birthday, 40 reservations will be available to book throughout the two-day pop-up on a first-come, first-serve basis. The restaurant will be located at 221 W. 29th Street in New York City.
For more information on the contest, visit their website.