Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge

So ... it's been a pretty good summer so far for Cream City Casseroles. The new summer specials seem to be a hit and plenty of warm, weather makes Dinner Drop Days a lot of fun.

Oh, and then there's this: 

Cream City Casseroles was one of three early-stage finalists in the Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge. The event was held Thursday, July 23 at MATC in Walker's Point in Milwaukee. 

The space was BEAUTIFUL! 

The finalists gave a brief presentation and offered samples for 100+ guests. I brought one of my most popular dishes: Hubby's Creamy Chicken and Biscuits. 

These bite-sized Buttermilk Star Biscuits were the size of a quarter and totally adorable. 
The judges, food and restaurant industry experts, were: Peter Gottsacker - Wixon Inc.; Jan Kelly - Meritage Restaurant; Kurt Fogle - SURG Restaurant Group; Jenny Marino - Angelic Bakehouse; Lynn Sbonik - Beans & Barley; Rakesh (Ryan) Rehan - Café India and Nick Maas - Rumchata. They asked thoughtful questions and offered suggestions on how to further improve. Lori Fredrich, food and dining writer for and Burp! Blog, as well as founder of MKEfoodies, emceed.

The judge Q&A was nerve wracking, but really beneficial. They "grilled" me for 10 minutes or so, asking insightful questions and offering suggestions.  

The Q&A portion with the judges was my favorite part. 
As the judges deliberated the grand prize winner, the audience voted for the People's Choice Award.

When the results came back, I was named the Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge People's Choice Award Winner. The grand prize went to The Naked Baker, who makes seriously yummy, surprisingly healthy cookie dough.

Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur People's Choice Award Winner

I didn't win the top prize, but I'm absolutely delighted with the People's Choice Award. After all, the people are my customers, right? 

The judges said they really like the Cream City Casseroles concept and business model and told me they feel it has tremendous potential for additional growth.

The experience validated what I feel in my heart is a great idea -- to offer dinner delivery that helps busy people enjoy a good, home-style meal without muss or fuss. It also gave me the chance to meet industry veterans who already have walked the road I have ahead.

Thank you Reliable Water Services, MATC, Fein Brothers, FaB Wisconsin and MKE Kitchen for hosting a great event and giving entrepreneurs this incredible opportunity.