Emmi Roth USA, an award-winning producer of specialty cheeses, has announced the winner of its Grand Cru® Recipe Contest for Postsecondary Culinary Students. Caroline Ausman of Burlington, Wis., took top honors with her recipe for Manicotti en Croûte with Brandied Fig Sauce.
The contest, presented in conjunction with the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ), challenged postsecondary culinary students to create a flavorful and creative pasta recipe highlighting Roth Grand Cru, a washed rind Alpine-style cheese crafted in Wisconsin.
Ausman is currently enrolled as a student at the Art Institute of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and is pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Baking and Pastry. She attributes her culinary and pastry passion to working alongside her mother in the family kitchen while growing up.
“I truly feel at home in the kitchen, working with my hands and creating from scratch. This contest was an amazing opportunity for me to showcase what I love doing,” said Ausman. “Although developing the recipe was a tremendous, and sometimes challenging, process, I really learned a lot!”
The panel of Emmi Roth USA contest judges were impressed with the flavor and versatility of the recipe, remarking that the application “takes pasta in a whole new direction” and could be served as an appetizer or a savory dessert.
“We received so many fantastic recipes and were inspired by the passion and creativity shown by all of the entrants. Ms. Ausman’s recipe impressed us for its flavor, sophistication and elegance,” said Regi Hise, Director of Culinary Development at Emmi Roth USA. “We’re always looking for innovative ways to feature our cheeses in culinary applications, and manicotti wrapped in phyllo is a creative and delicious concept. The sweet flavors of the brandied fig sauce balance wonderfully with the savory Grand Cru manicotti filling, and the phyllo adds great texture – the recipe was a clear winner.”
Ausman’s first place finish, out of more than 35 entries from across the country, earned her $2,000 and registration and lodging accommodations at the upcoming National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show, May 17-20, in Chicago. Ausman’s winning recipe will be served at the Emmi Roth USA Cheese 4 Chefs table during the NRA Show.