Carrie Eagle grew up in my hometown of Washington, Iowa where she was a star athlete in basketball and softball. I was lucky enough to be the Sports Director of the local radio station and broadcast many of her games.  Like a lot of the athletes I covered over my years in Washington, I had lost track of Carrie...that was until last night.

After graduating from Washington in 1992, she earned her education degree. After a couple of years teaching Kindergarten, Carrie found another calling and turned to the culinary arts. She is now the Executive Chef of Farm and Table in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Last night all of her hard work paid off when she competed against three other competitors on the Food Network Show 'Chopped', coming away the winner and $10,000 richer.

For those who don’t know, Chopped pits four chefs against each other in three rounds…appetizer, entrée and dessert.  The kicker is, in each round they are given a basket of nearly impossible ingredients that they have to turn in to an elegant dish.

This particular show had a football theme. In the final head-to-head match up (the dessert round) Carrie’s basket included blue Gatorade, husk cherries, pretzels and of all things, pig skin!!! Carrie struggled with the pig skin, and joked that if she messed up pork she would never be able to show her face in Iowa again.

In winning Carrie took down a caterer from New York, an Executive Chef from Washington DC and a Culinary Arts Instructor from New Jersey. The fierce competitor I watched last night reminded me of her days as a top athlete. Great competitor, and then a big smile after the win. Carrie’s parents, Fran and Steve Eagle, still live in Washington and to say the least are very proud of their daughter’s win, as was most of the people in my tiny hometown of 7,000.  To say social media among my friends in Washington was buzzing last night would be an understatement. Congratulations Carrie!!!

Watch Carrie's football-themed episode HERE.

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