In June of 2006, Melissa entered Seattle's KONG TV “Martha Stewart Recipe Contest”. Chosen as one of three finalists, Melissa had to prepare her “Chili Pepper Truffles” on live television. Viewers then got to vote on their favorite. Apparently, Melissa won by such a landslide that the number of people who voted brought the voting computer systems down!
Here is what Melissa had to say about the contest:
Type A obsessive people shouldn’t do these types of things… Thank goodness my husband is such a saint. I think I drove him completely crazy obsessing over silly things like what color apron to wear for the live shoot. I bought three white aprons. One I dyed green, one I dyed pink, one I left white. The night before, I tortured my husband with… “so do you like this one, or this one, or this one…? The green is good because, bla bla bla, the pink is good because bla bla bla… but the producer told me not to wear white… blab bla bla…”
Completely obsessed, I woke up at 2:30 the morning of the live television shoot. Wide awake. Heart beating at about 120 beats per minute. I lay in bed wondering when my body would run out of adrenalin. My stomach hurt, and I kept thinking “why on earth did I do this to myself!” I was like that till I got to the set, and then I settled down and was more or less ok. I had practiced what I would say about 30 times with a timer because I knew I only had 4 minutes. I made my husband play the part of the “anchor” person so I could practice till I was sure I could do it on auto pilot no matter how nervous I was, and no matter what the anchor person did or said. In the live shoot I had the anchor person pour the cream into the food processor because I figured my hands would shake so bad I might spill it. I was happy I didn’t flip the one truffle I made on the set “splat” onto the camera.
When I got to the station the morning of the live shoot they acted like they had a “script” I had to follow and I panicked because I had practiced MY script all down pat. But the anchor happily went along with my script. I told her before the shoot how I wanted to run it and she totally went along with it. After the shoot everybody – even the guys from the control room came down and wanted a taste. Everyone went on and on about how I needed to turn truffle making into a real business. Guess they were right!
See the promotional shots KING 5 did of Melissa in her own kitchen here.
See the live cooking contest footage here.
See the winner announced, and what the judges had to say here.