General Mills Foodservice announces that Kevin Brown, executive chef of SELECT Restaurant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is the Grand Prize Winner in the 5th Annual Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest, which celebrates independent family or “neighborhood” restaurants and food trucks and the one-of-a-kind dishes that reflect their local flavor. A team from General Mills, including the Pillsbury Doughboy, surprised Brown with the news during a celebratory event at SELECT on Saturday.
As the Grand Prize Recipe winner, Brown receives a total of $10,000 in cash and $2,000 to share with a local charity as well as a three-day trip for two to the 2019 New York City Wine & Food Festival, the premier food and wine event that celebrates America’s favorite foods. His award-winning Strawberry Pandowdy combines Pillsbury Southern Style Easy Split Frozen Dough Biscuits, broken into pieces, with a creamy, sweet strawberry mixture that is baked and served warm in a small skillet, adorned with vanilla bean ice cream. The contest judges raved that the dessert was “an authentic signature item,” “very unique” with “fantastic aroma” and “lovely flavor,” among other accolades.
“Our judges loved everything, from the flavor inspiration to the presentation of Kevin’s dessert item,” says Alyca Judge, senior marketing manager for General Mills Foodservice, which supplies restaurants with high-quality products to help make the signature dishes and familiar favorites their customers love. “His modern twist on old-school bread pudding makes innovative use of biscuits with the fresh taste of strawberries, creating a new dessert that his diners are already clamoring for.”
To celebrate its fifth year of recognizing great food and flavors across the country, the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest doubled the number of regional winners to give even more independent restaurants and food trucks the chance to win part of the more than $200,000 in cash and prizes awarded in the contest. Restaurants and food trucks from around the country submitted original recipes that used at least one ingredient from General Mills’ list of eligible products. The only foodservice recipe contest of its kind drew entrants from across the country and resulted in 10 regional winners with one being named as the Grand Prize winner. Brown was one of two winners from the South East Region and chose to share his $2,000 donation with Greer Community Ministries, which offers programs and services to ensure no elderly, homebound or disadvantaged person in the Greater Greer area will go hungry.
The other regional winners are:
- Nick Shipp, executive chef and partner, Upper West Restaurant in Santa Monica, California, for his Lamb Chili Bolognese with Macaroni and Whipped Goat Cheese
- Todd Skinner, Food Service manager of Chuckwagon in Surprise, Arizona, for his Cowboy Cookie Sandwich
North Central Region:
- Nancy Butcher, Operations consultant/baker, Nutcracker Family Restaurant in Pataskala, Ohio, for her Double Decker Banana Crème Cake
- Zach Wulfekuhle, manager and cook, DT’s Pub and Primetime Pizza in Fayette, Iowa, for his Bourbon Chicken and Waffle Sliders
- Richard Spurlock, Banquet and Catering chef, JD’s Pub & Grille in Smithville, New Jersey, for his Red Hot Waffle with Buffalo Shrimp and Yogurt Dipping Sauce
- Leslie Wyman, cook, Byrnes’ Irish Pub in Bath and Brunswick, Maine, for her Lucky Charms Cheesecake
South Central Region:
- Brooke May, owner, Hecho en Queso food truck and La Luncheonette Craft Food in Belton, Texas, for her Black Bean and Corn Empanadas with Spicy Yogurt Dip
- Suzanne Raiford, owner and chef, Daisy’s Lunchbox in Searcy, Arkansas, for her Strawberry Almond Shortcake Roll
- Laura Smith, co-owner, The Biscuit and the Bean in Winterville, North Carolina, for her Pear Tart
Each regional winner received $5,000 in cash and an additional $1,000 to share with a local charity of their choice. Throughout August, the Neighborhood to Nation “prize patrol” traveled to each of the winners’ hometowns to host special celebrations with staff, friends, family and the greater community.
“Traveling the country and celebrating with great food, recognition and conversation has provided a wonderful window into the world of cooking, recipes and creativity,” Judge says. “With double the number of prize winners this year, we had even more reasons to connect and celebrate. We enjoyed every minute of it.”