Northeast Regional Recipe Winner
Richard Spurlock, Banquet and Catering Chef
JD’s Pub & Grille (Smithville, N.J.)
Recipe: Red Hot Waffle with Buffalo Shrimp and Yogurt Dipping Sauce
Named for The Jersey Devil, a mythical creature that haunts the forested Pine Barrens area of Southern New Jersey, JD’s Pub and Grille has become a legend in its own right. The family-owned and -operated independent restaurant in the historic town of Smithville has anchored its neighborhood for 23 years.
“We live in our community and are the place that celebrates its successes and losses along with all our neighbors,” says Banquet and Catering Chef Richard Spurlock. “Our uniqueness comes from many years of dedication and consistency,” and the restaurant takes pride in being the place “where the locals gather.”
For his Northeast Region-winning recipe, Spurlock was “inspired by the challenge of coming up with new ideas for established products” to “generate sales and excitement. In this recipe, I was combining classic culinary style and the latest in trends by expanding on the chicken and waffle trend and finding a fun center-of-the-plate item.”
After trial and error (from “not hot enough” to “too hot” to “just right”), the Red Hot Waffle with Buffalo Shrimp features a fiery-hot waffle wrapped around crispy battered shrimp, creating a sandwich that’s easy to hold and devour. Gold Medal™ Complete Waffle Mix with a hefty dose of buffalo sauce meets its match when paired with Yoplait® Nonfat Plain Yogurt and blue cheese sauce.
Part of the fabric of the Smithville community, JD’s Pub and Grille participates in more than 60 fundraising events each year. Along with local production company TONYMART Presents, JD’s hosts a monthly music and concert night showcasing local (and occasionally national) acts. “We take much pride in our role in this community,” says Spurlock, who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and worked at large hotels, casinos and more before joining the team at JD’s.
As a Regional Recipe Winner in the Neighborhood to Nation contest, Spurlock will receive $5,000 as well as $1,000 to share with a local nonprofit. He enjoys working with OneForest Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to environmental education and forest conservation, and looks forward to further supporting their mission with his donation.
Address: 45 S. New York Rd., Galloway, NJ