Roadblocks to the TASTYs

Today I head to the West Coast for the TASTY Awards.  If the trip is as interesting as the week leading up to it then I should have some crazy stories to share.

The Encounter restaurant & bar at LAXThis trip to LA is way more important to me than just getting to go see an awards show.  The potential for networking and bringing what I do to the attention to people who can make a difference is immense.  That in and of itself is stressful so I clearly didn’t need all of this:

My week started with the good old US Postal Service losing a deposit I mailed to the bank – my spending money for the trip.  I love how when they lose your mail they always ask, “Did you purchase insurance for your parcel?”  Yes, as a matter of fact I did;  it’s called a stamp.

For the record, the US Constitution gives the federal government two responsibilities – maintain a military and to provide postage FREE OF CHARGE to all citizens.  If you are going to charge for postage then you damned well better guarantee it gets there.   I really should think about moving to a bank in my own state.

A few days later my water pump goes out on my car which forces me to dip into my vacation funds.  That sucks considering the USPS has just lost my hard earned money.  Again, Post Office, when I pay you for a service I expect you to provide it otherwise don’t take my money.

2010 national championship Auburn SI CoverAs if this weren’t enough I have the added stress of my Auburn Tigers playing for the National Championship in football.  It’s been a great year but I won’t bore you with the details.  I just never knew how nerve wrecking it was to have your favorite team play for all the marbles until this year.

There is an old saying in the South, “If you die and go to heaven you still have to change planes in Atlanta.”  This holds true with my trip to LA.  I depart from Pensacola and switch planes in the same Atlanta that is currently bogged down with a freak winter storm that has to put the final nail in the coffin of Global Warming.

As a lad in Sunday school I was taught that God never gives us obstacles we cannot overcome.  I’ve never actually seen that in the Bible.  Not saying it isn’t there, just saying I’ve never read it.  But I do know this, I got my water pumped fixed and for less than a $100, the head of payroll at The Kitchen Hotline has overnighted me a replacement check, the Auburn Tigers are now officially the best team in college football and if there’s a delay in Hotlanta I can finish watching season two of 30 Rock via Netflix on my laptop.  That Tracy Morgan kills me.

If the resolutions to the few remaining roadblocks I have left pan out half as well then this will quite possibly be the best week of my entire life.  Oh who am I kidding?  When Wes Byrum put the ball through the uprights as time expired it was already the greatest week of my life.  And that was on a Monday.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less
Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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