BHSU serves up the top three winning recipes in national contest

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, October 23, 2014/Categories: 2014

Jim Gerdes created a Beef Tenderloin Lettuce Wrap, filled with seared beef tenderloin and black bean salsa.

Blake Hartman, a business administration-management major from Spearfish and BHSU dining services employee, created a Beef Tenderloin Crostini with Smoked Mozzarella. Beef tenderloin is topped in smoked mozzarella and drizzled with red pepper and horseradish aioli and fried capers.

Jimmy Kleinsasser's Smoked Gouda Crostini combines caramelized smoked Gouda, Applewood smoked bacon and sweet and mild pimiento peppers.  

Three Black Hills State University dining services employees served up winning recipes in the national A'viands A'Flavor contest earlier this month.

Jimmy Kleinsasser and Jim Gerdes, both dining services staff at BHSU, and Blake Hartman, business administration-management major from Spearfish who is a dining services student employee, were selected to represent BHSU and A'viands in the A'Flavor contest at the A'viands Food and Services Management companywide meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 28 in Minneapolis. The three will compete in the final round for the A'Flavor trophy and a cash prize.

Each year, A'viands holds a companywide cooking contest, open to all employees. A theme is selected and contestants compete to create an original recipe within the selected theme. This year's theme was appetizers.

"We were hoping to get at least one recipe in the final round," said Bob Dooley, director of dining services at BHSU. "We were surprised. Usually they only allow one recipe to come from one account. This was more shocking than anything."

Twenty contestants from across the country submitted an original appetizer recipe, complete with a list of ingredients, instructions to prepare the dish, a finished picture and price breakdown.

"I was overly excited to get the opportunity to cook in a competition of this caliber in front of hundreds of industry professionals," Kleinsasser said.

"This renewed my passion for cooking," Hartman said. "I found a whole new level of love and appetite for the industry."

Kleinsasser, Gerdes and Hartman put a winning spin on a South Dakota favorite - meat.

"Each recipe represents classic South Dakota," said Ron Showman, director of operations for dining services at BHSU. "They put a modern twist on South Dakota specialties."

Kleinsasser added local Applewood smoked bacon and Gouda cheese to a melted cheese crostini for a "winning combination." He added that it has been a highly requested appetizer at catering events.

Hartman made a sliced beef tenderloin, topped it with a horseradish cream sauce and placed it on a kettle chip.

"I thought it would bring a nice twist adding smoked mozzarella and a bit of brightness with the roasted red pepper horseradish aioli," he said. "It takes a steak dinner, spices it up, and packs all that flavor into two mouthwatering bites."

Aioli is a mayonnaise-like sauce, typically made from garlic, olive oil, egg yolk and seasonings. It's typically uncommon in South Dakota, Showman said.

Gerdes created a South Dakota-style lettuce wrap, adding beef tenderloin to the black bean salsa filling.

"That tenderloin takes it to the next level, making it a five-star appetizer," Gerdes said.

"This accomplishment really says something about the food we serve and our catering at BHSU," Dooley said. "It shows how truly amazing it is."

Kleinsasser agreed and said the recipes show the dedication, quality and passion of cooking BHSU dining services offers on a daily basis.

Aside from offering daily a daily, on-campus menu, BHSU dining services caters several on and off campus events year round and offers a variety of services from upscale to casual weddings, community picnics and on-campus celebrations.

The three winning recipes were:
  • Smoked Gouda Crostini, by Jimmy Kleinsasser: A combination of caramelized smoked Gouda, crispy Applewood smoked bacon, and finished off with a sweet and mild pimiento pepper.
  • Beef Tenderloin Lettuce Wrap, by Jim Gerdes: A winning combination of herb rubbed seared beef tenderloin paired with a refreshing spicy black bean salsa all wrapped up into a heart of romaine, and finished off with Queso fresco.
  • Beef Tenderloin Crostini with Smoked Mozzarella, by Blake Hartman: An exquisitely grilled beef tenderloin resting upon a golden crostini blanketed in smoked mozzarella and drizzled with a savory roasted red pepper and horseradish aioli, finished with crispy fried capers.
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