Tops Chefs Named in 2014 Chef Recipe Contest
September 2014

LEESBURG, IN (September 30, 2014) – 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 categories. 
“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, 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 recipes 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 CA, Santa Monica; Mini Duck Corn Dog with Maple Orange Mustard Sauce by Kristen DeSantis of Lincoln Culinary Institute of West Palm Beach, FL; and Ginger & Leek Duck Chowder by Warren Watson of Houston Community College, Houston, TX. 
Prize winning recipes and photos may be viewed on the contest web pages at