In July, 16 judges met at Delgado Community College in New Orleans to determine the winners of the 2012 Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest . The panel, comprised of food writers, chefs, sweet potato industry professionals, and Louisiana government officials, tasted its way through the finalists in each of the contest’s five categories.
Louisiana is the country’s fourth largest sweet potato producing state, so Bruce’s Yams, the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission, Alexia All Natural Foods, the Louisiana Restaurant Association, New Orleans Menu, Holly Clegg, Louisiana Cookin’, and Delgado Community College came together to spotlight one of our state’s great culinary treasures.
This year’s crop of winning recipes demonstrates the power that the humble sweet potato holds as a gratifying comfort food. Featuring hamburgers, french fries, brownies, and macaroni and cheese, these dishes touch on many of the most iconic American foods. But it doesn’t stop there: Main dish winner Sherry Ricci of Mendon, New York, used them in her spicy, satisfying Vietnamese soup, which illustrates the tuber’s international appeal.