2015 Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest Winners

2015 Sweet Rewards

There was a time in Louisiana when cotton was king. But after a few bad crops in the 1930s, a number of Bayou State farmers turned to sweet potatoes, and they stuck with them. As of 2013, Louisiana was the fourth largest sweet potato-producing state with 8,000 acres and 2.5 billion pounds of product. We love our yummy yams and are always looking for new ways with them.

Since 2005, Louisiana Cookin’ and the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission have hosted the Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest to highlight the many ways home cooks prepare this delicious root vegetable. Over the years, we’ve seen thousands of entries from around the United States, ranging from simple homespun favorites to stunning chef-inspired creations.

The 2015 Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest slate of winners includes folks from the Northeast, Southwest, Midwest, and, as you might expect, a couple from the Bayou State. The versatile flavor and texture of the sweet potatoes were highlighted with interesting techniques and pairings.

At the judging ceremony, hosted by the Louisiana Culinary Institute in Baton Rouge, the judges were particularly impressed by the resourcefulness of the cooks and the skill of the culinary school students preparing the dishes. A yam good time was had by all, and we’re sure this year’s winning recipes will have a spot on your family table for years to come.

The 2015 Louisiana Sweet Rewards Contest Winners

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Grand Prize Winner
Sweet Potato Butterscotch Pies
Katie Shirkey Leithead, Lake Charles, Louisiana
Frozen Winner
Sweet Potato “Fry-ttata” with Chorizo and Caramelized Onions
Lynn Albright, Norwalk, Connecticut

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Chef Winner
Sweet Potato & Conecuh Sausage Au Gratin
Chef Ella Hart, Slidell, Louisiana
Sweet Potato Salad
Student Winner
Panini Grilled Sweet Potato Salad with Creamy Basil Vinaigrette
Sharyn LaPointe Hill, Las Cruces, New Mexico

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Canned Winner
Sweet Potato Bundt Cake with Marmalade Ribbon
Cindy Nerat, Menominee, Michigan
Fresh Winner
Spiced Sweet Potato Squares with Brown Sugar Glaze
Donna Pochoday-Stelmach, Morristown, New Jersey

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