Inside Scoop: Bargains for the Highest Bidder

By: Kirsten Vala

Studio A at the Chelsea Market offices regularly changes faces for the filming of Iron Chef America, the Next Food Network Star Finale and a ton of in-the-kitchen shows, from Guy's Big Bite to Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. But this week, for one afternoon, Studio A was transformed into a kitchen wonderland, a dream world for cooking-enthusiast bargain shoppers. It was a charity auction for Share Our Strength, and it was beautiful!

Items on sale were leftover from shows, equipment from the kitchens and Kohl's products donated by the culinary department. At high noon, Food Networkers (including Sunny Anderson!) swarmed into the studio and started grabbing (mostly politely) and bidding – small items priced as marked and larger items auctioned off to the highest bidders.

I was overwhelmed! Before I knew it, my name was on seven different bidding sheets and I was walking up to the cash register with a trifle bowl. I love trifle, and it's the perfect party food – for the holidays, I've had my eye on Paula's Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle and Nigella's Chocolate Cherry Trifle, to name a few. For the auction part, after bidding up and up and up and stalking a pot until the last second, I scored my first Dutch oven ever. Can't wait to make stews and braises with this all through the winter – think I'll start with Ina's Chicken Stew, Anne's Braised Short Ribs and Paula's Oxtails.

After all the dust settled and the cut-throat bidding came to an end, Food Network raised over $10,000 to donate to Share Our Strength. Everyone had fun, we walked away with great bargains, donated to a wonderful charity and I for one can't wait to jump into my kitchen and start cooking away with my new purchases.

Kirsten, Web Editor
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