The 12 Georgia chefs who will compete in the 2nd Annual Golden Onion have revealed their recipes. An impressive range of cooking skills and techniques will be on display as the entry dishes are prepared during the professional cooking competition. Each competitor will have one hour to prepare his or her dish.
Golden Onion showcases the Vidalia® onion, Georgia’s official state vegetable, and also serves as a platform for chefs across Georgia to display their skills and creativity. It will be held on Sunday, April 14, 2013, in Vidalia, Ga., as the official kick-off to the 36th Annual Vidalia Onion Festival.
Chef Mimmo Alboumeh, owner and executive chef of ME Restaurant Group, which operates Red Pepper Taqueria, Coldbrews Sports Bar & Grill, and Coldbrews Oyster Bar in Atlanta, will prepare “Chilean Seabass With Vidalia® Onion Champagne Cider” served with quinoa, roasted Vidalia® onions and goat cheese with a side of crispy Vidalia® onions.
Chef Daniel Chance, executive chef of Campagnolo in Atlanta, will prepare his appetizer “Scallop Stuffed Vidalia with Onion Purée.”
Chef Linda Harrell, executive chef and partner of Cibo E Beve in Sandy Springs, will prepare “Smoky Vidalia® Onion, Fig & Goat Cheese Fried Pies.
Chef Brian Jones, chef de cuisine for Atlanta Grill at The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta, will prepare a salad he explains is “inspired by the landscape and unique products that exist in areas such as Vidalia, Thomasville and Lakeland.” He calls the salad, “A Scene from South Georgia.”
Chef Brian Justice, chef and owner of Tasteful Temptations Café in Brunswick, will prepare “Vidalia® Onion Poppers,” stuffed with wild Georgia shrimp, sautéed Vidalia® onions and jalapeño peppers, and Monterey jack cheese. The poppers will be served with Vidalia® onions and tomato jam, roasted corn and Vidalia corn foam and garnished with chive oil and charred corn.
Chef John Mark Lane, executive chef of Elements Bistro & Grill in Lyons, will prepare his spin on “Liver and Onions,” featuring foie gras with sautéed Vidalia® onions, a spring onion pancake and caramelized onion orange marmalade.
Chef Roberto Leoci, chef and owner of Leoci’s Trattoria in Savannah, will prepare “Pancetta Wrapped Vidalia® Onion,” stuffed with Georgia peach risotto and finished with spiced candied pecans.
Chef Keira Moritz, chef and owner of Steel Magnolias in Valdosta, will prepare “Vidalia® Onion Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Belly,” along with her “Vidalia® Onion All Local Field Salad with Pecan Thyme Vinaigrette.”
Chef Austin Rocconi, executive chef for Le Vigne Restaurant at Montaluce in Dahlonega, who was awarded third place during the inaugural Golden Onion competition last year, will prepare “Local Pork Duo with Vidalia® Onion,” which is comprised of pan-roasted Mountain Valley Farms bone-in pork chop, soy- and beer-braised Mountain Valley Farms pork belly, roasted baby Vidalia® onion bulb ragout, Vidalia® onion fluid gel and Vidalia® onion bubbles.
Chef Dave Snyder, chef and owner of Halyards and Tramici in St. Simons Island, will make “Sautéed Trout over Caramelized Vidalia and Shrimp Cream with Arugula and Pecans.”
Chef Michael Shutters, executive chef and food service director at The Pilot House Grille Restaurant at George T. Bagby State Park and Lodge in Fort Gaines, will prepare “Sweet Onion, Apple & Goat Cheese Dessert Pop-Over” served with orange saboyon sauce.
Chef Marc Taft, chef and owner of Chicken & The Egg in Marietta, and executive chef and general manager of the new The Mill Kitchen & Bar in Roswell, will prepare “Riverview Farms Pork Tenderloin Two Ways,” which features mustard greens, Vidalia buds, Vidalia “soubise,” Vidalia and green tomato agrodolce, Vidalia® onion jam, gourmet mushrooms, blistered tomatoes, young greens and aged balsamic.
Recipe booklets featuring all competitors’ recipes are included in the ticket price. Advance tickets cost $10 per person or $15 at the door.
Chef competitors will each prepare eight plates of their entry dish. Five plates will be presented to judges, one reserved for photography, and two plates will be raffled off. The new raffle adds exciting tasting opportunities for spectators. Raffle tickets cost $1 each. With 12 competitors, there are 24 chances to win.
Dishes will be judged on the basis of taste (50%), oral presentation (5%), visual presentation (10%), creativity (15%), overall use of Vidalia® onions (15%), and following the recipe submitted during the application process (5%).
About the Golden Onion
The Golden Onion professional cooking competition challenges 12 Georgia chefs to create and prepare recipes featuring Vidalia® onions. Competing chefs will have one hour to prepare and present their recipes. The First Place champion will be presented the Golden Onion trophy to hold for one year along with a cash prize of $500. The second place winner will receive $250 and the third place winner $100. All winners will also receive commemorative plaques. The Golden Onion competition will be held at the Vidalia Community Center, 107 Old Airport Road in Vidalia, Ga. The event is open to the public starting at 12:30 p.m. For details visit www.vidaliaonionfestival.com.
About the Vidalia Onion Festival
Celebrating its 36th year in 2013, the Vidalia Onion Festival will be held April 18-21 in Vidalia, Ga. The event has been featured on The Food Network and recognized as one of the “5 Don't-Miss Festivals Across the U.S.” by MSNBC. The festival offers something for everyone, including the Miss Vidalia Onion Pageant, a children’s parade, outdoor music concerts, an arts and crafts festival, opening ceremonies and fireworks, car show, the Kiwanis Onion Run, the Vidalia Onion Festival Rodeo, and the Famous onion eating contest. Come to Vidalia to experience the “whole onion.” For more information, visit www.vidaliaonionfestival.com.
About Vidalia® Onions
Vidalia® Onions are the pioneer of sweet onions and Georgia’s official state vegetable. Grown only in the mild climate and unique soil surrounding Vidalia, Ga., they’re loved by chefs and home cooks throughout the world. Vidalia® onions are hand-planted and hand-harvested each year, with sweet, juicy bulbs available seasonally from late April to late August. Their mild, sweet taste makes Vidalia® onions more versatile than stronger onions. And these Georgia sweeties are a low-calorie, fat, cholesterol, and sodium-free way to get a healthy dose of Vitamin C. For more information, visit www.VidaliaOnion.org.
About the Vidalia® Onion Committee
Because Vidalia® Onions are sweetly unique, farmers were forced to unite and seek legal protection of their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989 to stipulate how and where the crop can be grown and sold. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal protection reinforces Georgia state laws and the Vidalia® trademark. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia!” For more information, visit www.VidaliaOnion.org.
About the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA)
The GRA’s mission is to serve as the voice for Georgia’s Restaurants in Advocacy, Education and Awareness. The GRA is sanctioned by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) to operate Georgia’s only not-for-profit representing the state’s foodservice industry. From large chains to start-ups, the GRA helps make Georgia a better place for restaurants to do business and helps make restaurants better for Georgia. For more information, visit www.garestaurants.org.