Home Chef Challenge winner: 'My cooking is reflective of my life'

Oct. 20, 2011 at 12:33 PM ET

Courtesy of Donna Elick
Courtesy of Donna Elick / Courtesy of Donna Elick

Meet Donna Elick, winner of the latest round of TODAY's Home Chef Challenge. A second generation Italian-American, she says her family has been a huge influence on how she cooks. "My cooking is reflective of my life," says Donna, who works up a cooking blog in her free time. Learn more about her, and get her winning recipe for grilled eggplant rollatini with sun-dried tomatoes.

Name: Donna Elick

Age: 40

Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz.

How does it feel to win the Home Chef Challenge?

I am so excited to be the winner of The Home Chef Challenge. I am happy so many people loved my Grilled Eggplant Rollatini with Sun-dried Tomatoes!

Courtesy of Donna Elick. /
Try Donna's grilled eggplant rollatini.

How long have you been cooking?

I have been cooking as long as I can remember. It all started with my Easy Bake Oven, and then I began helping my mom in the kitchen as soon as I could stand on a chair. I remember being the official masher of potatoes, cookie dough-tester and bowl-licker.

Share your favorite cooking tip: Always check the oven before preheating it!

What would be your ideal last meal? Baked manicotti with a five-cheese sauce, served with eggplant parmesan, meatballs, braciole and garlic bread.

Are you up for the challenge? Enter your recipe her, and vote for next week's winner.