We recently participated as one of the judges at the Hogs 'n' Honey Cook-off at CIA Greystone in St. Helena, Calif. and are were so impressed by all the incredible recipes! The Feb. 8 event culminated a nationwide pork and honey recipe contest among Sysco chefs that drew 125 entrees. The National Honey Board and National Pork Board co-sponsored the competition and cook-off, spearheaded by Sysco's Sr. Director of Culinary, Neil Doherty, who attended the 2013 Honey Summit.
Four Hogs 'n' Honey semifinalists participated in the February cook-off to vie for grand prizes in three categories. After an intense morning of food preparation at the CIA, and deliberation among the judges, top prize (Best Use of Pork and Honey) was awarded to Sysco Chef Noah Barton for his Honey Braised Pork Cheek Empanadas. (We can vouch that this dish, with its perfect balance of sweet and heat and pleasing textures, was most worthy of a second helping.)
Other grand prize winners were Luigi Tripodi (Best Use of Honey for his Smoky Pork French Fries with Buckwheat Honey Ketchup) and Brian O'Leary (Best Use of Pork for his Root Beer Pork Belly, Honey Onion Jam Popover). Arthur Presti was named a finalist/runner-up for his Honey Braised Pork Hock with Southern Corn and Potato Chowder. Our marketing director, Catherine Barry presented cash prizes and certificates to the Hogs 'n' Honey winners and congratulated them for their outstanding efforts and culinary creations.
We had a great time at the Hogs n' Honey event and think that some ingredients were just meant to be together!
Pictured in the Hogs 'n' Honey group shot (left to right):
Paul Perfilio, National Pork Board (National Foodservice Marketing Manager)
Brian O'Leary, Sysco (Hogs 'n' Honey winner, best use of pork)
Catherine Barry, National Honey Board (Director of Marketing)
Noah Barton, Sysco (Hogs 'n' Honey winner, best use of pork and honey)
Arthur Presti, Sysco (Hogs 'n' Honey finalist/runner-up)
Luigi Tripodi, Sysco (Hogs 'n' Honey winner, best use of honey)
Neil Doherty, Sysco (Sr. Director, Culinary Development)