Winners of 2012 Chef Recipe Contest Announced
August 2012

LEESBURG, IN (August 31, 2012) -- Maple Leaf Farms has selected the winning recipe entries for the 2012 Discover Duck Chef Recipe Contest. This year’s contest challenged entrants in two categories—professional chef and culinary student—to produce an original small plate recipe showcasing Maple Leaf Farms duck. More than 250 entries from across the country were submitted in competition for the cash prizes.

Taking the Chef Category Grand Prize of $5,000 was Chef Andrea Spring of Sign of the Mermaid restaurant in Anna Maria, FL, for her Ale and Apple Duck Banderillas with Pralined Bacon and Apple Hoisin Sauce.

Chef Michael Watz of Washburne Culinary Institute, Chicago, claimed the Second Place prize of $3,000 in the Chef Category with his Manchego Duck Pintxos with Tapas Red Curry Cream recipe.

The Third Place prize of $1,500 in the Chef Category was presented to Chef Eric Braun, who is the Executive Chef at the Allen County Jail in Fort Wayne, IN. His winning recipe was for Duck Leg Confit Meatballs in Grand Marnier Sauce.

The Student Category offered two top prizes: The Grand Prize of $2,500 was awarded to Charlie Stephens of Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, WI, for his Savory Duck Confit Cheesecake Bites with Caramelized Balsamic Onion Jam. Jessica Gershman, student at The Art Institute of Indianapolis, took the Second Place $1,500 prize with her Asian Brussels Sprout Salad with Duck Confit recipe.

All submissions were judged anonymously on simplicity (easily sourced ingredients and ease of preparation), originality, flavor and accuracy of the recipe ingredients and method. The recipes selected as finalists went through two additional blind evaluations, and at the end of this process, Chef Spring’s recipe emerged as the winner.

“Each of our judging panels was impressed with the creativity of the chefs and the variety of duck products used this year,” said Maple Leaf Farms Marketing Director Cindy Turk. “We invite even more chefs to ‘Discover Duck’ and enter the contest next year!”

To view the winning recipes and photos, visit the contest web pages at

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