Austin, TX -- The excitement of the students was an obvious observation at the recent venison culinary competition as the students competed for cash prizes totaling over $2,000. Students from the Sullivan University Arts Program recently tested their cooking skills in the second annual venison culinary competition hosted by the Cervid Livestock Foundation(CLF), the research and educational foundation of the North American Deer Farmers Association (NADeFA). This event was scheduled in conjunction with the NADeFA's annual convention held in Lexington, Kentucky.
The competition was limited to six teams comprised of two or three students, each having three hours to plan and prepare two courses, one appetizer and one entree incorporating venison as the primary protein source in the entree. Cash awards were given to the top teams on Friday evening at the NADeFA conference.
Dr. Brad Thurston, a board member of the CLF and NADeFA, said the competition is held each year to promote the use of venison as a heart-healthy food; low in fat and cholesterol. Dr. Thurston was also privileged to serve as one of the judges for the competition.
A goal of the CLF is to educate future chefs about the nutritional and dietary benefits of venison. By sponsoring these events, future chefs are introduced to the venison industry and will take with them a unique experience of cooking with venison when entering into the restaurant profession.
The winners of the competition are as follows:
1st place - Ryan Laudenschlager and De'Andre Taley
2nd place - Todd Jackson, Matt Starling and Buddy Hasting
3rd place - Marty Harper, Jane Thompson and Brian Stephens
CLICK HERE to print out the top three venison recipes.
The CLF gives special thanks to Chef John Foster, instructor at the Sullivan University, and Sue Michael, Director of Admissions at the Sullivan University, for a job well done coordinating the cooking event.
Sponsors for this cooking event include the Exotic Wildlife Association and Broken Arrow Ranch, both from the state of Texas, for providing the venison used in the competition, and the following individuals who sponsored the cash awards for the winners of the competition:
1st place - Dr. Brad and Susan Thurston of Luke's Run, Indiana;
2nd place - anonymous donor;
3rd place - John Behrmann of Highbourne Deer Farm, Pennsylvania;
4th - 6th place - Brian Cahill of Dream Chaser Farm, Pennsylvania; Dr. Sam Vainisi of Eaton Highland Farm, Wisconsin; Joel Espe of Hawks Hill Elk Farm, Wisconsin.
The North American Deer Farmer's Association is an association representing an industry that has an annual economic impact on this nation's economy of $3 billion. http://www.nadefa.org/index.php? is a political voice for approximately 15,000 deer breeders, ranchers and farmers across the nation. They represent the deer industry by working closely with state and federal legislators and regulatory agencies to develop rules and regulations that govern the deer industry. NADeFA is dedicated to the promotion of deer farming and ranching as an agricultural pursuit and serves its members through its educational programs, publications and by providing leadership in setting and maintaining quality standards.