Meet the members of the 2014 Pumpkin Panel. This talented group will determine the 1st and 2nd place winners of Pumpkin Carve-Off 2014. Some panelists didn’t provide bio information, so I made it up.

Come back tomorrow to cast your votes and determine the winner of the Pumpkin Carve-Off 2014 People’s Choice Prize!

. . .

The Everyday Squash Cook

Rob Firing

Occupation: Writer, Marketer, Lover of Squash, Celebrity
Website/Social Media: click here to see a photo of Rob staring at a squash
City/Town: Toronto, Ontario
Favourite Colour: orange (probably)
Favourite Non-Domesticated Animal: porcupines (gut feeling)
Other Interests/Qualifications: according to the HarperCollins website:

Rob has been marketing cookbooks for nearly twenty years and has worked directly with some of the biggest names in food in Canada and around the world, including Anthony Bourdain, Jamie Oliver, David Rocco, Laura Calder and Jamie Kennedy. He is an avid home cook and an occasionally successful gardener.

That’s right. Co-author of the Pumpkin Carve-Off 2014 prize, The Everyday Squash Cook, is a member of this year’s Pumpkin Panel. I TOLD YOU I WAS LEGIT.

Adopamop Beaucoup

Occupation: Manufacturer of Barbies
City/Town: Lambersart, France
Favourite Colour:
Website/Social Media:
click here to see a video explaining a process similar to the one Adopamop uses to manufacture dolls
Favourite Non-Domesticated Animal:
Other Interests/Qualifications:
Adopamop is an accomplished pumpkin carver and builder of gingerbread houses. He and his partner, Isa, produced my two perfect nieces, Pumpkin and Turnip. They are gourdeous. (Get it? GET IT?)

Haddy Beaucoup

Occupation:Writer“/ “Editor
Website/Social Media: on Twitter, and her blog
City/Town: Toronto, Ontario
Favourite Colour: Haddy lives her life in black and white.
Favourite Non-Domesticated Animal: ants
Other Interests/Qualifications: Haddy won Pumpkin Carve-Off in 2012 (along with her co-carver, Chip Zdarsky). She knows pumpkins. Also, my mother said I had to include her on the panel.

Chad Fraser

Occupation: Freelance Writer/Editor
Social Media: @C_Fraser
City/Town: Parry Sound, Ontario
Favourite Colour: orange! (Chad threw in that exclamation point.)
Favourite Non-Domesticated Animal: wallaby
Other Interests/Qualifications: Chad writes: “Hiking, kayaking, snowboarding. I have also nearly entered the carve-off multiple times, on one occasion missing the deadline by just one day.” (I left those outdoor activities in as a courtesy, Chad. Bleck.)

Amy B. Harkness

Occupation: Old-School Court Stenographer Lady (I didn’t make this up. Amy is ACTUALLY an old-school lady.)
City/Town: Parry Sound, Ontario
Favourite Colour: tabby (all colours)
Favourite Non-Domesticated Animal: sand cat
Other Interests/Qualifications: Amy says: “I watch people fight all day at work, so I’m familiar with competitions, and I’m well known for being judgmental.” (Amy has also survived a Beaucoup Family Christmas. She’s qualified to do just about anything she wants now.)


Occupation: Middle School Teacher/Shepherd (yes, she herds sheep)
Website: Ironwood Farm
City/Town: Summerville, Nova Scotia
Favourite Colour: for eating – orange or yellow, for wearing – blue, green or beige, for looking at – earth tones, including the gorgeous colours of Fall leaves (heatherjay, like a middle school student, had trouble picking just one colour.)
Favourite Non-Domesticated Animal: sheep
Other Interests/Qualifications: heatherjay writes: “My pumpkin carving technique was passed down to me by an old family friend and consists of a relatively simple carved face, with the addition of actual horse teeth and goat horns. No fail.” (The phrase ‘actual horse teeth’ made me actually throw up in my mouth.)


Occupation: Ballet Teacher
Website/Social Media: watch Jo-Anne fall off a stage
City/Town: Grande Prairie, Alberta
Favourite Colour: teal
Favourite Non-Domesticated Animal: donkey (I chose this for Jo-Anne, because it’s my favourite and no one had picked it yet.)
Other Interests/Qualifications: Jo-Anne says she participates “in daily judging of all events big or small, important or unimportant.” Also, Jo-Anne fell off a stage. She understands the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

Melissa McCormack

Occupation: Curriculum Advising Officer, Ryerson University
City/Town: Toronto, Ontario
Favourite colour: grey
Favourite Non-Domesticated Animal: sloth (this and donkey were the correct answers)
Other Interests/Qualifications: Melissa’s brother is a writer of spooky and monster filled books (Dark Rides, Haunted Hillbilly, The Show that Smells, Grab Bag). She, too, is an avid horror fan and has supported her brother’s antique Halloween collection. (Sounds dodgy.) Melissa says she understands “the spirit of Halloween and pumpkin carving. Also, My Mom always said that I should be a judge because I am so fair. My life has building to this very moment.”

Melissa also sent me this horrifying photo:

horror show | movita beaucoup

That’s Melissa’s brother dressed as ghost, and Melissa dressed as a bride complete with blue snowpants. The ghost. My god, the ghost.

Good luck sleeping tonight.



  1. thatskinnychickcanbake on October 30, 2014 at 8:06 am

    SO many celebs as judges…I just know they’ll do a stellar job.
    PS I think Melissa’s brother is glad his face is covered.

  2. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef on October 30, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    ALL these qualified people? So where’s Mom??? She’s waiting for better entries before she decides to join in? I love the ghost and seriously, who knew that staring at a squash (or pumpkin as they’re called here) could improve vitamin A.

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