Home Cooks Shine in Coast Packing's 7th Annual #LardLovers Recipe Contest
If fat really is the soul of flavor, Coast Packing Company’s #LardLover’s Recipe Contest kept just about everyone in fat city in this, its seventh year. Coast is one of the nation’s premier suppliers of the animal fat shortenings lard and beef tallow.
A showcase of what the venerable animal fat can do in the hands of talented home chefs, the contest draws its inspiration from the annual December 8 observance of #NationalLardDay, organized by the Healthy Fats Coalition — a celebration of a traditional, flavorful animal fat, pure lard, derived from pork, that is as versatile as it is delicious, whether in restaurants (especially those featuring ethnic specialties), fast food operations and neighborhood kitchens.
Judging the contest were culinary professionals from Coast, led by Corporate Chef Greg Hozinsky, who selected the winners based on flavor, creativity/originality and visual appeal. “We continue to be impressed at how resourceful contest entrants are,” Chef Greg said. “This year’s cohort outdid themselves, deftly combining ingredients to produce dishes sweet and savory, and all true to what traditional animal fats do best – get you to ask for more.” Of the 46 total entries, 30 were classified as Savory and 16 as Sweet.
- SWEET CATEGORY – 1st Prize Winner: Elaine Barbee, Bourbon Banana Muffins with a Toffee Crumble
“Using lard was a no-brainer in my mom’s family. They had a farm and they used what they had and what they harvested. Simple ingredients led to amazing food. Every summer I spent a couple weeks at my grandparents’ farm. There was always a can of lard in the kitchen. It was used to cook and bake with. Growing up with great cooks to roll model after has always influenced how I cook and the ingredients I use. There is always lard in my kitchen.”
- SWEET CATEGORY – 2nd Prize Winner: Brenda Watts, Strawberry Snowball Mini-Cakes
“My sweet grandma and aunt bee taught me how special and important it was and is to use lard in my baking and cooking. Desserts and especially cakes come out so moist and flavorful.”
- SAVORY CATEGORY – 1st Prize Winner: Yoshiharu Sogi, Pork Meatballs and Scrambled Eggs Sliders Party
“My parents were born and raised in Kagoshima in Japan, where it is well known as ‘Kurobuta Pork Grown.’ Kagoshima Kurobuta Pork (Berkshire pork) is fed by sweet potatoes, meat is flavorful and fat melts in the palate immediately. Pork meat and fat was the prime ingredient for my family and my mother’s home cooking, especially fatty cut pork such as pork belly that was always a star because my mother said pork fat is important for kids growing. My mother’s specialty was Roasted Pork Belly for New Year’s celebration, I always looked forward to her New Year’s Day dish. I am currently over half a century but really healthy because I eat pork, fatty cuts or feet lots. Delicious fatty pork dish is like ‘MOTHER’S LOVE’ for me.”
- SAVORY CATEGORY – 2nd Prize Winner: Sandra Dombek, Charcuterie Board Between Bread
“It has always been our family tradition to have lots of big meals together. When I was growing up my grandparents would always have a box of lard sitting on the kitchen worktop. Lard is a cherished ingredient that was used and still is used for so many of our recipes. My grandmother would always create a stuffed bread recipe to use up the leftovers from our gatherings. The smell of my Charcuterie Board Between Bread conjures up treasured memories for our family.”