The Ungarnished Truth

A Cooking Contest Memoir

By Ellie Mathews
(Berkley Hardcover, Hardcover, 9780425219454, 288pp.)

Publication Date: March 4, 2008

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A woman, a chicken, and a million-dollar adventure in the heartland of America's competitive cooking culture.

When Ellie Mathews entered her recipe for Salsa Couscous Chicken-eight chicken thighs cooked in Old El Paso salsa-in the grandma of all cooking contests, the 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, this amateur cook was thrown into the limelight. She soon found herself booked on Oprah-and even photographed for the New York Times in a vest made of ostrich feathers-as 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 Mathews takes readers with her 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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