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Recap of Macy’s Sizzle Showdown Regional Semi-Finals

Macy's 2014 Sizzle Showdown Semi-Finals

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending Macy’s regional sizzle showdown semi-finals which was held in Holyoke, Massachusetts.  The day was perfect (a rarity for those of us living in the northeast) for an outdoor grilling competition. The scenery during my drive into Western, Massachusetts was just what I needed to calm the stress I had felt all week and the sinus induced headache that was nipping at my heels four aspirins later. I was looking forward to picking up some grill ideas and sampling some really great food as I made my way to the big tent in the parking  lot of the Holyoke Mall where I literally ran into the event host, Billy Costa, from Boston’s Kiss 108 FM. 

18 contestants were competing across the U.S. last Saturday in the regional semi-finals for a chance to make it to the June 28th finals in New York City. The winner of the June 28th final will win $10,000 and an all expense weekend in New York City during the 4th of July weekend.

Holyoke/Springfield, MA Semi-Finalists

Holyoke/Springfield, Macy's Sizzle Showdown finalists: Erin Evenson of Brooklyn, NY; Sarah Malikowski of Hampden, Maine; and Irma Ferretti of Ossining, New York
Holyoke/Springfield, Macy’s Sizzle Showdown finalists: {L-R} Erin Evenson of Brooklyn, NY; Sarah Malikowski of Hampden, Maine; and Irma Ferretti of Ossining, New York

Competing in the Holyoke-Springfield, MA regionals were: Sarah Malikowski from Hampden, Maine {Entry: Grilled Chicken Stuffed with Herb Goat Cheese and Prosciutto}; Erin Evenson from Brooklyn, New York {Entry: Spicy Grilled Squid and Shrimp Salad with charred Tomatoes, Crispy Watercress and Cashwews}; and Irma Ferretti from Ossining, New York {Entry: Grilled Bourbon Glazed Peaches}. American chef, baker and cookbook author Nancy Silverton was the presiding judge for the Holyoke competition.

Prep Time


Each semi-finalist was given one hour to prepare scratch, cook, plate and serve their dishes. There were some really tense moments during the competition, Erin burned her peaches and had to start over and Erin got lost in her watercress and was the last to get her meat on the grill, but all women finished on time.

Judge Nancy Silverton

Nancy Silverton offering semi-finalists advice. Event emcee, Boston’s FAME 108 FM’s Bill Costa with the mic.

Sarah Malikowski’s  Grilled Chicken Stuffed Herb Goat Cheese and Prosciutto was the winning dish. She moves on to the June 28th final in New York City for a chance to win the weekend in New York City and more importantly, the $10,000 prize.


We had the chance to sample two of Nancy Silverton’s signature dishes. The bacon rapped radicchio grilled with pancetta was a bit too fancy for my taste buds but the spicy chipotle mayo chuck burger was to die for. I really should have taken two or three of them instead of one, which I wolfed down like a stray dog. Overall it was a great event and I am looking forward to attending the June 28th final in New York City to see who will take the grand prize.


Look out for my post later today with a recipe for Tame Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings from Chef Michelle Bernstein and a chance to win the recipe book with all of the recipes from the semi-finalists and also the grilling recipes from the Macy’s Culinary Council members.

XoXo, Natasha

DISCLOSURE:I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post about Macy’s. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own. 



About Natasha Samuels

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