Maple Leaf Farms Names Tops Chefs in 2014 Chef Recipe Contest

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Latin-inspired dishes capture top prizes in 2014 Discover Duck Chef Recipe Contest

Duck & Sweet Plantain Lasagna Pastelon

Discover Duck Recipe Contest Chef Grand Prize - Duck & Sweet Plantain Lasagna Pastelon by Executive Chef Daniel Ramos of Quail Ridge Country Club in Boynton Beach, FL

The Discover Duck Recipe Contest gives chefs and culinary students a chance to showcase their culinary talent and creativity.

Entries in the 2014 Discover Duck Recipe Contest proved that the possibilities with duck are boundless. Concepts ranging from Latin-influenced entrées to decadent desserts and upscale state fair favorites captured the attention of judges who awarded over $19,000 in cash and prizes. Sponsored by Maple Leaf Farms, the annual contest challenged professional chefs and culinary students to produce an original recipe showcasing Maple Leaf Farms duck. Over 260 recipes from across the country were submitted for both the chef and student category.

“This contest gives chefs and culinary students a chance to showcase their culinary talent and creativity,” said Maple Leaf Farms Director of Marketing Cindy Turk. “Each year we look forward to seeing a lot of innovative and inspired recipes and we have never been disappointed.”

Duck & Sweet Plantain Lasagna Pastelon captured the Chef Category Grand Prize, earning Executive Chef Daniel Ramos of Quail Ridge Country Club in Boynton Beach, FL $10,000. Chef Dennis Chan of Blue Bamboo in Jacksonville, FL claimed the second place prize of $1,000 with his Peruvian Duck Ceviche. Additional finalists included Candied Duck Bacon Maple Fried Ice Cream created by Executive Chef Eric Lackey of Ulele, in Tampa FL; Quacker Jacks by Lead Chef Instructor Tom Chamot of New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua, NY; and Savory Duck Confit Cannoli by Production Chef Stephen Belin of Georgia Southern University/Lakeside Café in Statesboro, GA.

Recipes were judged on flavor and creativity, as well as accuracy and method. “Duck is a natural fit for today’s global cooking culture,” said Turk. “We were awed by the passion and talent demonstrated by the chefs and the breadth of creative duck preparations.”

Eljesa Haxhiu, a student at of Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, GA, won the top prize in the Student Category for Citrus Seared Duck Breast with Herb Goat Cheese, earning her $2,500 and her school $1,000 in Maple Leaf Farms duck products. Additional student winning recipe concepts included Duck Liver Cheesecake with Red Currant Sauce by Erica Anderson of Houston Community College, Houston, TX; Duck Confit Amuse Bouche with Duck Fat Crostini, Charred Spring Onion Soubise, Pickled Romanesco by Otto Nguyen of Art Institute of California in Torrance, CA; Mini Duck Corn Dog with Maple Orange Mustard Sauce by Kristen DeSantis of Lincoln Culinary Institute of Wellington, FL; and Ginger & Leek Duck Chowder by Warren Watson of Houston Community College, Houston, TX.

Grand prize winning recipes and photos may be viewed on the contest web pages at http://www.mapleleaffarms.com/chefcontest.

About Maple Leaf Farms:
Maple Leaf Farms, Inc. is America's leading producer of quality duck products, supplying retail and foodservice markets throughout the world with innovative, value-added foods. Founded in 1958, Maple Leaf Farms is a fourth generation family-owned company. For more information, contact Maple Leaf Farms at 1-800-348-2812 or visit http://www.mapleleaffarms.com.            

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Cindy Turk
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