Through a series of qualifying events, the organization placed 20 competitors to participate in the various categories at the WFC. Ultimately, 17 cheftestants traveled to Vegas to join several staff members from Just a Pinch who helped sponsor their travel expenses and provided support for the whole crew. The group even piled into vans for a group shopping excursion to gather ingredients for their prize-winning recipes in an expedition that Just a Pinch representative Annakate Tefft described as resembling an episode of Supermarket Sweep.
The Just a Pinch competitors made themselves evident by decorating their cooking booths with blue ribbons, the symbol of an award-winning recipe on the website. They traveled as a pack around the event and seemed very willing to pitch in to help their compatriots who were cooking in different categories and heats. Eventually, three of their chefs made the finals of the Side Dish competition, and Just a Pinch member Linda Bonwil win the category to advance to the Final Table and compete for part of the $50,000 prize pool.
In the end, Bonwil finished fifth out of seven competitors, but only after celebrity judge Robin Leach (yeah, that old guy) inexplicably changed his vote at the last second. Don't cry for Bonwil, though. She took home another 10 grand for her efforts and her Cobb Potato Salad.
In addition to this award winning recipe on the site, Just a Pinch has surpassed the 100,000-recipe mark in their database of over 500,000 members. Creator Dan Hammond has assembled an amazing community of users that make over two million unique visits to the site every month and spend more time browsing than any other online recipe collection.
Another recent development has been a new application that allows users to "pinch" their favorite ideas and recipes to create a board for future menu planning. Now, I can fit everything I know about Pinterest in a crafty sewing thimble, but I do know that I wish I'd invested on the front end of that one. Since "pinching" is unique to the online community that has already assembled around Just a Pinch, I'm guessing that it will blow up for them in a huge way.
Signing up is free, with additional perks such as ad-free browsing available for a $.99/month premium. Whether you decide to join the club or not, you have to tip your chef's toque to Hammond and his team for taking such a prominent role in the online recipe space. Well, done Just a Pinch. Medium rare, even.