Website Offers Key to Success in Winning Cooking Contests

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The world of cooking contests is about more than just great recipes. At Cooking Contest Central we are a tight-knit community of food lovers who are ready to help each other with support and advice.

For those who have a passion for food and love to cook creatively, there could be a gold mine in the kitchen. Original recipes could be worth hundreds, thousands, even millions of dollars. How is this possible? Time to explore the exciting world of cooking and recipe contests! is a website dedicated to help home cooks navigate all things cooking contests by providing detailed entry information, assembling winning recipes, as well as offering winning strategies and advice. “Cooking and recipe contests are a way for people who have a passion for food to express their creativity and showcase their talents,” says Kristina Vanni, CEO of Cooking Contest Central, and herself, an accomplished award-winning cook. “This exciting hobby is not only a creative outlet, but can also be quite lucrative as well. There are literally millions of dollars in prize money up for grabs every year in cooking and recipe contests. Not to mention luxury vacations, kitchen appliances or even just free groceries!”

Created in 1997, Cooking Contest Central was the first on-line cooking contest community where culinary competitors could gather, share information, and develop friendships. In 2012, Vanni came on board as the CEO and re-launched the website with a new look. For over 16 years, Cooking Contest Central has been the premier website and online community dedicated to cooking and recipe contests.

“At Cooking Contest Central we not only gather and share information about current contests, we also partner directly with corporate sponsors to host exclusive members-only contests,” Vanni said.

For an annual subscription of $25.00, Cooking Contest Central curates the thousands of recipes contests held each year into one, user-friendly site. Members can easily browse the contests they are interested in entering. Most are geared toward the amateur home cook and food bloggers. There are also contests for food professionals and even contests just for kids. For more information on membership, click here:

Cooking contests can be the launch pad for culinary careers as well. Vanni started her culinary career at the age of 12 when she won $2,000 in the Pillsbury Bake-Off. Since then she has won top honors from Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart, and Kraft, to name just a few. Award-winning cooks can leverage their contest success into impressive careers in the food world. Many Cooking Contest Central members have written cookbooks, opened restaurants, launched food product lines, and have appeared on the Food Network and Cooking Channel. Passionate home cooks and food bloggers looking to take their career to the next level can build impressive resumes through cooking contests.

Cooking Contest Central member Christina Verrelli recently won the $1,000,000 Grand Prize in the 2012 Pillsbury Bake-Off. Verrelli says, "I love the Cooking Contest Central website! As soon as I joined I felt like I had found 'my people!' We love to be creative with food, try our hands at recipe contests and be supportive of each other! The Deadline Contests list is so handy for me. At a glance I can look at the dates and codes to see which contests I may want to try entering."

Vanni explains, “The world of cooking contests is about more than just great recipes. At Cooking Contest Central we are a tight-knit community of food lovers who are ready to help each other with support and advice. This is the only contest site where subscribers have access to private member forums and can ask questions, brainstorm ideas, or share success stories.”

To learn more visit To view a promotional video about the site, click here:


As the CEO of Cooking Contest Central, Kristina Vanni brings with her a passion for recipe contests, firsthand knowledge, and extensive experience with the food community. She is a veteran of the competitive cooking world, and is a third-generation contester following in the award-winning footsteps of her mother and grandmother. Her contesting career began at the age of 12 when she earned a spot in the winner's circle at the Pillsbury Bake-Off. Since then she has gone on to win top honors from Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker, and Kraft, just to name a few. She was named a "Hot Chef" by the National Restaurant Association and later represented the USA and won an international chef competition in Australia.    Today she is on the other side of food competitions serving as a judge for national recipe contests and as the owner of Cooking Contest Central.    

Kristina is also a food writer for, part of the Better Homes and Gardens family of websites. She can often be seen as an on-camera host, culinary expert, and product spokesperson.. Recent television appearances include “The Talk” on CBS, the Hallmark Channel’s “Home and Family,” as well as the nationally syndicated “BetterTV,” “The Daily Buzz” and “Daytime.”

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