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Operation Success: Award-Winning Gypsy Cafe

Making the most of the right mixes can help busy chefs garner gold-medal results. Nobody knows this better than Dan Duris, who co-owns Gypsy Café in Lincoln, NH, and is a two-time winner in the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest.

Twice now, Gold MedalTM mixes have served as the foundation for Dan’s creativity and helped him turn out award-winning recipes. In 2016, he looked to Gold Medal™ Belgian Waffle Mix to create his award-winning Waffled Salmon with Spicy Orange Maple Sauce. In 2018, Dan used Gold Medal Corn Muffin Mix for his popular Bacon Corn Johnny Cakes with Maple Syrup.

Dan recently took a moment to talk about what it’s like to be a Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest winner and discuss how mixes can be a lifesaver in a busy kitchen that’s short on staff.

General Mills: Are both of your award-winning dishes on your menu at Gypsy Café?

Dan Duris: Yes, we feature the Waffled Salmon as a special and the Johnny Cakes are a popular appetizer item that we also run as a lunch special alongside a salad.

GM: Why were mixes such a good fit for these recipes?

DD: For the Waffled Salmon, even with the delicate process and steam from putting a fish in the center of the waffle, the finished product comes out light, fluffy, with a crispy exterior every time.

With the Bacon Corn Johnny Cakes, I was looking for a way to streamline production, not to mention consistent results.

Dan Duris

GM: Do you look to mixes in other areas of your menu to create the unique, flavorful dishes you are known for?

DD: Yes, all the time – both for savory dishes as a main component or as a side and for our house-made desserts.

With the current labor challenges, I need products that make my life easier. General Mills provides me with items I know are made with the same quality ingredients I would use, are perfectly mixed every time and cost about the same as if I made them myself.

Mixes can provide a high-quality and flavorful base so I can concentrate my energies on the creative aspects of preparing food, and then produce it in the quantities and timeframe the restaurant demands.

GM: What is it like to Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest winner for the second time?

DD: It has been fun to hear from people in the community who saw the article about us in the New Hampshire Union Leader. The full-page ad also got us a lot of attention.

In addition to the recognition, it is a good feeling to be able to share part of the prize with our community. [As a regional winner, Dan received $5,000 as well as $1,000 to share with a local nonprofit. He chose Jean’s Playhouse, a performing arts center that is a valuable part of the local community.]