First of all, if you don’t know what SugarSlam 2011 is all about you better learn something! I’ve told you a little bit about the prizes, and now it’s time to tell you more about your three amazing judges.  By judging this year’s competition with NO input from me, they’ve made it possible for all of my wildly talented friends to enter with no risk of favoritism. So here they are:

Mike Edison

I first discovered Mike Edison while finishing up an internship at Time Out Chicago. His book I Have Fun Everywhere I Go was on the “books reviewed” shelf, which meant it was up for grabs. The cover features Hulk Hogan, Ozzy Osbourne and Larry Flynt just to name a few, so home with me it went. Once I started reading, I didn’t stop until I was done – it’s that good. Not only that, but I highlighted all my favorite parts and loaned it to CM Punk who devoured it just as quickly. Having just graduated, Mike’s autobiography about coming up in the world of writing – from wrestling mags to High Times to porno – was like the text book Columbia forgot to overcharge me for. So I emailed him to tell him how much I enjoyed the book, and we’ve been pals ever since.

Here’s one more reason why Mike rules:

Beth Phoenix

Oh Beth Phoenix, how much do I love you? Let me count the ways… I love you for being a high school wrestler, for being the second woman in history to enter the Royal Rumble, for not going to the ring mostly naked, for your positive attitude and your beautiful biceps. I love that you love the Golden Girls. I love that when my 6-year-old niece first saw you on TV she said, “girls should not fight”  but by the end of your match she was screaming, “break her in half, Beth!” Beth Phoenix is a positive role model for boys and girls, a sweetheart to the core and from what I hear, a baker of some pretty killer banana bread.

Check out this ode to Beth:

Ben Roche

Ben Roche is magical. He’s probably sick of me saying that, but it’s true. Sometimes I find myself singing Then Candy Man song from Willy Wonka, but about Ben. Who can make your popcorn… taste like Vienna beef? Who can make carrot cake come from outer space? Ben Roche caaaaan. One of the smarty pants behind Chicago’s futuristic Moto restaurant, Ben blows minds on the daily with his innovative cuisine.

You’ve probably seen him on Food Network (Dinner Impossible, Iron Chef America and more,) Future Foods on Planet Green or, perhaps, on his very own YouTube channel here:

So there you have it – your ridiculously cool judges.  They’re all really stoked to see what you come up with, so get to it!