Canandaigua, NY – The Slice, Dice and Spice team led by Chef Kate Elliott of Juniper in Buffalo smoked the competition in the final round of the Slice, Dice & Spice NY competition on Sunday. The team was comprised of Kathleen Houser (Victor Historical Society), Laura Kenyon (Farmers Market foodie), Russ Kenyon (Kenyon and Kenyon) and Angela Parr (Cornell Cooperative Extension).
Teams were asked to create a meal using common “Market Basket” ingredients, plus secret featured ingredients. All of these were products of the region from local farmers and food producers. Wine pairings were made from the Canandaigua Wine Trail, encompassing several local wineries.
The winning meal consisted of three courses. The first course was a deconstructed pirogi with spaetzle, cabbage, Dijon mustard, brussel sprouts and Hartmann’s Andouille sausage (paired with Rohrbach’s Scotch Ale and Red Jacket Orchards Tart Cherry). The entrée was a seared chicken breast with beets, goat cheese and Arbor Hill Riesling with a toasted pumpkin seed and micro-collared greens garnish (paired with Imagine Moore Riesling and Red Jacket Orchards Apple Cider). The final course was a Red Jacket Orchards apple basil crisp with a pine nut and brown sugar crust and a basil caramel cream cheese topping (paired with Mrs. Brahm’s Cranberry Wine and Red Jacket Orchards Healthy Purple).
“This was a great time and I am really happy with the results,” said winning Chef Kate Elliott. “All the chefs were great. It was a great competition and we all played to win.”
Voting criteria included the teams’ ability to plan a creative menu highlighting the main elements of the meal, use of Market Basket ingredients, and the featured ingredients (Hartmann’s sausages, Bejo’s Seeds pointy headed cabbage, Pedersen Farms cabbage, pumpkin, Sweet Expressions chocolate and Baldwin Richardson’s Butterscotch Caramel Topping) and wine pairing. How well the chef delegated to and directed the amateur participants was also taken into consideration.
Slice, Dice and Spice NY is a Finger Lakes Visitors Connection program that hosts a variety of events during the 2009 growing season in and around the Finger Lakes area to showcase the culinary and agricultural assets and talents of the region. Slice, Dice and Spice NY is currently in its second year and this year’s program culminated with the Slice, Dice, and Spice NY Cook-offs. The preliminary round of the Cook-off was Oct. 19 and the finals were on Oct. 25.
Sponsors of featured products and market basket products included: Canandaigua Wine Trail, Hartmann’s Old World Sausage, U.S. Food Service, Bejo Seeds, Wegmans, Arbor Hill – The Grapery, Baldwin Richardson Foods, Clearview Farms, Firefly Farm, Happy Goat Farm, Pedersen Farms, Red Jacket Orchards, Rohrbach Brewing Company, Sugarbush Hollow, Sweet Expressions, The Birkett Mills and Yancey’s Fancy.
“We are really fortunate to have so many quality local products in the Finger Lakes. It amazes me how the chefs did a great job at utilizing all of the products and really showcasing what the region has to offer,” said Valerie Knoblauch, president of Finger Lakes Visitors Connection.
For more information on the competition, contact the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection at 877-386-4669 or visit www.slicediceandspiceny.com.