Food Contest Winner Strikes It Big - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/30/05 - Nacogdoches

Food Contest Winner Strikes It Big

by Donna McCollum

Camilla Saulsbury loves cooking. She's taken that interest much farther than most good cooks. "Well, after college I started a small catering company. I decided I was really interested in cooking and I thought this is something I could actually make some money doing," said Saulsbury.

Camilla didn't realize how much money until she entered a national contest sponsored by the poultry industry and won. "It was $100,000. It was very exciting, especially finishing grad school. It was a great prize."

This was the granddaddy of food contesting, something Camilla has been hooked on since winning much smaller purses. She got her big break in Indiana. "A finalist was selected from every state, so I was Miss Chicken Indiana."  The contest will be broadcast on the Food Network Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Go to for other times the show will air.

Originally from California, Camilla created a fusion of West Coast, Asian, and Mexican cuisine. "The recipe I made was called Mahogany Chicken." It can be found at  Camilla would have prepared it for us, but one slight chicken. "Wait, I swear we had some," Camilla said while digging through the freezer.

Instead Camilla prepared the winning sauce that set her chicken apart from others. "Chimichurri sauce is a traditional Argentina sauce. It's made with cilantro and olive oil."

In addition to serving up good meals, Camilla helps others do the same. She's published two cookbooks featuring creative uses of brownie mixes and cookie dough. She's working on a third book showing you hundreds of ways to use cake mixes. She also writes a food column for an Indiana newspaper. And did we tell you Dr. Saulsbury's dissertation was on the 'Meaning Of Home Cooking'.

"I think there's a lot to be said for the home cook. There so much emphasis on the professional cooking now, but you can learn so much just from books, trial and error and there's definitely been error along the way."

Camilla has been in Nacogdoches for just over three weeks. She followed her professor husband to SFA. Perhaps it was meant to be, since poultry is Nacogdoches County's largest ag income producer. Camilla won't have to search far to make another winning dish.

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