Spring is cookin’ with another first place
pat copeland | sun
Andrea Spring, chef and co-owner of the Sign of the Mermaid
restaurant, received a $5,000 check from Terry Tucker, CEO
of Maple Leaf Farms, for her winning duck recipe.
ANNA MARIA – Andrea Spring, chef and co-owner of the Sign of the Mermaid restaurant, took first place in a duck recipe contest for professional chefs sponsored by Maple Leaf Farms, of Leesburg, Indiana.
“I’m thrilled,” Spring declared. “I try hard to win, but you never know what will happen. You have to take the time to enter and have perseverance.”
Terry Tucker, CEO of Maple Leaf Farms, said the company has been sponsoring the recipe contest for many years, and this year 150 chefs entered.
“I was one of the final judges and was totally surprised when I learned Andrea won because the judging was totally blind,” said Tucker, who owns a home on North Shore Drive and dines at the Sign of the Mermaid. “Her entry was the most unique and the most flavorful.”
Spring said last year, she made the top 20 and the company invited her to enter this year. She entered three recipes.
“They chose the top 100 and cooked them and decided on the winners. The recipes were judged on taste, ease of preparation and availability of ingredients.”
She said entries were to be small plates to be shared by two people. Her winning entry was ale and apple duck bandarillas with praline bacon and apple hoisin sauce
“I followed the rules, I made it easy, I made it accessible, and I gave the judges what I thought they wanted,” she said.
Her other two entries were duck salami sliced thin and served on toast with herb cream cheese and caramelized onions and a puff pastry appetizer with duck and apple.
Spring received her $5,000 first place check from Tucker on Friday in a presentation at the restaurant.
Since 2008, Spring has been named national champion in the American Pie Council/Crisco National Pie Championship twice and also has had numerous first place and honorable mention entries in the same contest. Her pies are featured at the restaurant.