The food: Vegan cupcakes. I took a huge risk by presenting my all-vegan cupcake at a nonvegan competition. But the judges gave me rave reviews. I was the first vegan to win a Food Network competition.
How it changed me: A New York Times article was written about my win, and now I'm writing a cookbook for Simon & Schuster. On my blog, lots of parents who have children allergic to eggs or dairy have written that their kids had a delicious birthday cake for the first time in their lives, thanks to my recipes.