If you see a lot of people walking around wearing aprons on the Strip this weekend, it’s not because the city’s chefs have decided to go for a stroll en masse.
The 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off rolls into town Saturday evening, with media seminars on Sunday and the big event Monday at Aria at CityCenter. But unless you’re a participant, a member of the media or a registered blogger, you can’t attend.
This year’s Bake-Off will involve 100 finalists from 35 states, competing for a grand prize of $1 million. The finalists include a Nevada rarity — contestant Glori Spriggs of Henderson. Her recipe is Loaded Potato Pinwheels, and she’s sponsored by Vons. Look for coverage of the Bake-Off and the results in an upcoming Taste section.
Pennsylvania and Texas have the largest number of finalists, at 10 each. Of the 100, 97 are women, and for 23 of them, it’s their first trip to Las Vegas.
Their recipes collectively use 192 eggs, 95 pounds of flour, 54 pounds of frozen vegetables and enough Jif peanut butter and Smuckers jelly to make 252 sandwiches. Jif, Smuckers and Pillsbury are sister companies, under the aegis of the J.M. Smucker Co. of Orrville, Ohio, which also owns Eagle Brand, Crosse &Blackwell, Carnation, Crisco and Dunkin Donuts.
The categories for this year’s Bake-Off are Amazing Doable Dinners, Simple Sweets and Starters, and Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts.
The first Pillsbury Bake-Off was held in New York City in 1949; the events have taken place annually or biannually ever since.
Among the classics the event has added to the American culinary lexicon are the Tunnel of Fudge Cake, Country Apple Coffee Cake, Chocolate Praline Layer Cake, Orange Kiss Me Cake and Peanut Blossoms.