2014 Louisiana Yam Recipe Contest Winners

B.L.T. Sweet Potato Hash
Grand Prize Winner B.L.T Sweet Potato Hash Peter Crouth, Plantsville, Connecticut

Since 2005, Louisiana Cookin’ and the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission have hosted a Louisiana yam recipe contest to highlight the many ways folks can prepare this delicious root vegetable. Over the years, we’ve seen thousands of entries from around the United States ranging from simple baked sweet potatoes and home-style casseroles to elegant chef-inspired creations.

It’s the versatility of the sweet potato that makes it such an exciting ingredient. It pairs well with not only sweet flavors—cane syrup, marshmallow, and brown sugar—but can take the heat of East Asian cuisines.

This year’s crop of winning recipes covers a wide range of flavor profiles and preparations. The Grand Prize-winning dish, B.L.T. Sweet Potato Hash from Peter Crouth in Plantsville, Connecticut, combines sweet and savory elements to make it an unbeatable addition to your next brunch.

Instead of organizing the contest by dish, as had been customary, 
this year we wanted to see what folks could do with the different varieties of Louisiana sweet potatoes: fresh, canned, and frozen. At the judging ceremony, hosted by the Louisiana Culinary Institute in Baton Rouge, the judges were particularly impressed by entries like the Piquant Sweet Potato Quiche by Karen McGowan, of Houston, Texas. She repurposed frozen sweet potato fries into a sweet, crispy crust.

Look for the announcement of the 11th annual Louisiana Yam Recipe Contest in the January/February issue of Louisiana Cookin’. Submit some 
of your favorite sweet potato recipes, and you might find yours in these pages next year.

The 2014 Louisiana Yam Recipe Contest Winners

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B.L.T. Sweet Potato Hash
Grand Prize Winner
B.L.T Sweet Potato Hash
Peter Crouth, Plantsville, Connecticut
Piquant Sweet Potato Quiche
Frozen Winner
Piquant Sweet Potato Quiche
Karen McGowan, Houston, Texas

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Sweet Potato Cajun Fritters
Professional Winner
Sweet Potato Cajun Fritters
Brian Karam, Lincolnshire, Illinois
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Balsamic Sage Brown Butter
Student Winner
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Balsamic Sage Brown Butter
Adrian Vazquez, Chicago, Illinois

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Sweet Potato S’mores
Canned Winner
Sweet Potato S’mores
Michele Carl, Masonville, Colorado
Creamy Smoked Sweet Potato Soup
Fresh Winner
Creamy Smoked Sweet Potato Soup
Samantha Foglesong, New Orleans, Louisiana



  1. Mandeville High in 1966 had a yam contest for home economist students which I took first place in st Tammany parish. I participated in state in Baton Rouge for state finals. My recipe was a jam cake sort of like a upside down cake, but I used oranges and juice with shredded jams in the cake batter. Over the near fifty years ago I do not have my recipe. If anyone should have one and would like to share I would love to have one.

    Sincerely and Thank You,
    1966 Yam Queen Contest Winner


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