Inside the Story: Utah woman has an 'addiction' to cooking competitions

Inside the Story: Roy woman has an 'addiction' to cooking competitions (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Making a grilled cheese sandwich doesn't seem too hard -- you just need bread and cheese, right?

That's just the beginning of the ingredients a national award-winning chef uses.

Shauna Havey uses three different kinds of cheeses, three different kinds of meats, a cheesy spread, and a specialty salad to go on top.

She calls it the "Mardi Gras grilled cheese sandwich."

The Roy woman's creation took third place in a national grilled cheese sandwich contest, competing against 1,600 other people.

Even as a national champion, Havey still considers herself to be "just a normal mom."

She is a wife and mother of two boys, with no professional food training.

"Never taken a formal class, no culinary school, nothing," she said.

The award-winning grilled cheese sandwich is just the beginning of what this self-made master chef has accomplished over the last three years.

"I've won anything you can imagine," said Havey.

Since 2014, she's entered more than 300 national and regional food contests, winning about 75 of them.

Prizes have included money, trips, appliances, and food.

She's even been featured in national news shows and magazines.

"It gets addicting," said Havey of her cooking competitions.

Her hobby consumes her everyday life, as recipes are constantly popping up in her head.

"I've stopped on the side of the road, I wake up in the middle of the night," she said. "I really am always thinking of recipes."

But there's just something to be said about making a perfect and delicious dish.

"I love making people feel loved and there is nothing like cooking for someone. It says, 'I've spent time on you. I care about you,'" said Havey.

Recently, Havey competed in the Gilroy Garlic Cookoff in California and got third place with a garlic raspberry dessert. She won $1,000 and will be featured by the Food Network.

For recipes and more from Shauna Havey, you can visit her blog.