Sunshine State Orange Crunch Cake Takes the Top Prize in the 2018 Neighborhood to Nation™ Recipe Contest

Dennis Chan of Blue Bamboo in Jacksonville, Florida is named the Grand Prize Winner and receives $30,000 cash plus $5,000 to share with a local charity.
  • Save
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Share

  • Save
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Share

MINNEAPOLIS (August 24, 2018) —General Mills Foodservice announces that Dennis Chan, chef and owner of Blue Bamboo in Jacksonville, Florida is the Grand Prize Winner in the 4th Annual Neighborhood to Nation™ Recipe Contest, which celebrates independent family or “neighborhood” restaurants and food trucks and the one-of-a-kind dishes that reflect their local flavor. A team from General Mills, including the Pillsbury™ Doughboy, surprised Chan with the news during an event at his restaurant today.

Chan’s recipe for Sunshine State Orange Crunch Cake has earned him the Grand Prize package that includes $30,000 cash, plus $5,000 for a local charity and a three-day trip for two to the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival this October. His award-winning dish, inspired by Florida’s state fruit, is an orange cake that includes Gold Medal™ Yellow Cake layers moistened with an orange sauce then stacked between alternating layers of airy pineapple cream cheese icing and crisp baked Pillsbury's Best™ Puff Pastry Dough for a luscious creamy, crunchy Napoleon-style textured dessert.

“This stunning orange cake is truly a show-stopper,” said Alyca Judge, senior marketing manager for General Mills Foodservice, which supplies restaurants with high-quality products to help make the signature dishes and familiar favorites their customers love. “Dennis’s unique use of puff pastry layers adds an interesting texture to the dessert that makes it fun to eat. With his creative use of ingredients, including a flavor that’s representative of his region, Dennis has created a dish that signifies what the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest is all about.”

To qualify for the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest, restaurants and food trucks from around the country submitted an original recipe using at least one ingredient from General Mills’ list of eligible products. The only foodservice recipe contest of its kind drew entrants from across the country and resulted in five

Regional Winners. The Grand Prize winner was chosen from the five Regional winners. Chan is the South East Region Winner. The other regional winners are:

  • Bryan Bennett, South Central Region, Manager and Chef, Back Street Food Truck in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for his Sea Salt Caramel Bacon Pecan Pie;
  • Dan Duris, North East Region, Co-owner and Chef, Gypsy Café in Lincoln, New Hampshire, for his Bacon Corn Johnny Cakes with Maple Drizzle;
  • Anne Klingler, North Central Region, Chef and Owner, Outlanders in Marquette, Michigan, for her Thai Basil Bowl;
  • Nick Shipp, West Region, Executive Chef and Partner, Upper West Restaurant in Santa Monica, California, for his Mushroom Tart with Tomato Jam, Goat Cheese and Fresh Oregano.

Each Regional Winner received $5,000 in cash and an additional $1,000 to share with a charity of their choice in their community. For the past two weeks, our Neighborhood to Nation “prize patrol” has traveled to each of the winners’ hometowns to host special celebrations with their staff, friends and family and the greater community.

“It has been amazing to travel across the country to showcase the creativity, local flavor and originality that independent restaurants and food trucks serve up every day, while providing a great source of hometown pride,” said Judge.

Neighborhood to Nation was created to inspire culinary creativity among independent restaurants and food trucks, giving operators an opportunity to experiment with high-quality and consistent products from General Mills Foodservice as well as exclusive access to trend information, insights and ideas to help them differentiate their menus and delight their diners. For more information, please visit

About General Mills Convenience & Foodservice

The General Mills Convenience & Foodservice division serves the convenience, foodservice and bakery industries by providing quality products from time-trusted brands along with culinary, nutrition education and marketing resources to help operators succeed. Its distinguished brand portfolio includes Big G Cereals, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Gold Medal, Pillsbury, Chex Mix, Bugles, Gardetto’s and Annie’s. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, the division had fiscal 2018 net sales of $1.93 billion. For more information, please visit

# # #

CONTACT:   Sarah Peterson
                      General Mills Convenience & Foodservice

*Complete profiles for the Regional Recipe Winners and photography of their award-winning recipes are available upon request.