Ocean Spray Announces Finalists for its First Ultimate Cranberry Recipe Contest for Foodservice Professionals

Foodservice Professionals Prove that Cranberries are More Than Just a Thanksgiving Classic

LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, MA (October 11, 2007) – Ocean Spray today announced the top four finalists who will compete for the title of the 2007 Ultimate Cranberry Foodservice Recipe and a $25,000 grand prize.[1] Ocean Spray challenged foodservice professionals to develop new culinary creations with, of course, cranberry as the key ingredient. Johnson & WalesUniversity in Providence, R.I., tested the recipes based on creativity, use of product, taste, overall appearance and ease of preparation to decide the top four finalists who will compete in a head-to-head cook off in New York City on Nov. 1.

Finalists include Jeff Leidy of Centerplate in San Diego, CA, with his “Cranberry Mojito;” Smajo Beckanovic of Randy’s at the Paramount in Amarillo, TX, with his “Craisin Encrusted Pork Tenderloin;” Dirk Rusthoven of IFH Foodservice in Mooresville, NC with his “Chicken Tenderloins with Cranberry Peach Compote;” and Marjorie Druker of the New England Soup Factory in Newton, MA, with her “Fallwich.”

Open to everyone from notable chefs to recent culinary graduates and bartenders willing to indulge their passion for cooking with cranberries, the contest attracted recipes displaying the fruit’s true versatility, including festive cocktails, decadent desserts, chutneys, salads and hearty stews.

Each finalist receives a trip for two to New York and on Nov. 1, finalists will compete in a live cooking contest at New York City’s De Gustibus Culinary School. Charged with the difficult decision of making the final cranberry cut, judges include celebrity chef Ming Tsai, editor of Food & Wine Nick Fauchald and editor of Nation’s Restaurant News Bret Thorn. The comical character growers from the Ocean Spray ad campaign will announce the winner at a private cocktail party at Manhattan’s Brasserie Ruhlmann that evening.

 “This contest provides a tremendous opportunity to showcase the versatility and unique flavor of the cranberry,” said Keith Benoit, Director of Foodservice at Ocean Spray.  “The team at Ocean Spray is truly impressed by the originality of the foodservice recipes submitted. The Ultimate Cranberry Recipe Contest reinforces our commitment to providing top quality ingredients, so we can continue to support the exemplary talents of these professionals.”

The top four recipes are also featured on


Cranberry Mojito

Recipe by: Jeff Leidy

Company: Centerplate


Servings: 1

4 cubes (about ¾ ounce) brown sugar cubes

10 mint leaves (about ¼ ounce)

½ ounceOcean Spray® Craisins® Sweetened Dried Cranberries

1 lime (juice only)

6 ounces Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Cocktail

2 cups cubed ice

1 sugar cane swizzle stick (to garnish)

1 lime wedge (to garnish)

1 mint sprig (to garnish)


1 20 ounce tall glass

1 bar tumbler

1 muddling stick


Place sugar cubes, mint leaves, lime juice and sweetened dried cranberries in bar tumbler and begin to crush and blend ingredients. Blend until sweetened dried cranberries and mint are minced; sugar will be dissolved. Add ice and cranberry juice. Mix well and pour into a 20 ounce tall glass. Garnish with lime wedge, swizzle stick and mint sprig, and you are ready to enjoy.


Craisins® Encrusted Pork Tenderloin

Recipe by: Smajo Beckanovic

Company: Randy’s at the Paramount


Servings: 12

3 cups (6 1.75 ounce packages) of Ocean Spray® Craisins® Trail Mix – Cranberry & Chocolate

2 cups (4 1.75 ounce packages) of Ocean Spray® Craisins® Trail Mix – Cranberry, Fruit & Nuts

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt & pepper (to taste)

2 2 pound whole pork tenderloins, cleaned

1 5.5 ounce can of Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Cocktail

4 tablespoons Ocean Spray® Jellied Cranberry Sauce

1 teaspoon beef base

1 cup heavy cream


Preheat oven to 350º F.  Place all packages of trail mix into food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Don’t over-process. In ovenproof 13 x 9 pan, drizzle olive oil and place pork tenderloin in pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Rub trail mix mixture into tenderloins, covering entire pork loins, reserving 4 tablespoons of trail mix for sauce. Place tenderloins into a preheated oven and cook 30 minutes, or until center reaches 155º F -160º F. While tenderloin cooks, into medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, pour the can of cranberry juice, and reduce by half. Add 4 tablespoons cranberry sauce and whisk mixture. Add the reserved 4 tablespoons of trail mix mixture and continue to stir. Add teaspoon of beef base and cup of heavy cream. Cook until sauce thickens. Let simmer over low heat until ready to use. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired. When pork is fully cooked, remove from oven and pan. Slice into 1 inch thick medallions. Top with sauce and serve. Garnish as desired.


Chicken Tenderloins with Cranberry Peach Compote

Recipe by: Dirk Rusthoven

Company: IFH Foodservice


Servings: 12

36 2 ounce chicken tenderloins

2 5.3 ounce wheels of all natural Gournay cheese

3 cups organic spring mix

24 slices grilled baguette

2 cups Ocean Spray® Craisins® Sweetened Dried Cranberries

2 cups Ocean Spray® Cranberry Sauce

2 cups diced peaches, fresh

¾ cup sherry vinegar

¾ cup brown sugar

1 cup mango chutney


Lightly pound out chicken tenderloins. Reserve. Combine sweetened dried cranberries, peaches & cranberry sauce in saucepan. Heat over medium heat. Add sherry vinegar, brown sugar & chutney. Cook for five minutes. Cover and reserve. Season & grill chicken tenderloins & grill baguette slices. Spread cheese over grilled bread. Top with organic spring mix, then grilled chicken tenderloins. Top all with generous portion of cranberry peach compote, about ½ cup. Serve at once.


The Fallwich

Recipe By: Marjorie Druker

Company: New England Soup Factory


Servings: 12

2 ¼ cups heavy mayonnaise

1 cup Ocean Spray® Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

5 sweet potatoes

6 tablespoons olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 individual baguettes

4 cups of baby spinach

3 pounds sliced roasted turkey breast

1 ½ cups of honey roasted cashews


In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise and the cranberry sauce until well incorporated. Preheat oven to 400 º F. Cut the sweet potatoes into 3-inch chunks. Place in a roasting pan and sprinkle olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool. Slice each baguette in half lengthwise. Spread each side of the bread generously with the cranberry mayonnaise.  Place the spinach leaves on the bottom slice of each baguette. Layer the turkey breast, then the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the cashews on top and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the top piece on each sandwich. Serve with an ice cold glass of Ocean Spray® Cranapple Juice with just a spritz of club soda and a slice of lime.



Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 650 cranberry growers in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and other parts of Canada as well as more than 50 Florida grapefruit growers. Ocean Spray was formed 75 years ago by three cranberry growers from Massachusetts and New Jersey. Florida grapefruit growers joined the Cooperative in 1976. Ocean Spray is North America’s leading producer of canned and bottled juices and juice drinks, and has been the best-selling brand name in the canned and bottled juice category since 1981. Ocean Spray posted fiscal 2006 sales of roughly $1.5 billion.

[1] The grand prize will be issued as a personal check or charitable donation depending on the winner’s preference.