Donal Clark’s Pecan Chocolate Ganache Brownie Cake was a hit at his restaurant, Miller’s Seawall Grill, even before he entered the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest. After being named a finalist and receiving media attention from the contest, Donal says the recipe is now one of the restaurant’s best sellers.
The cake, which use Gold Medal™ brownie mix, is a frequently requested item, even among the restaurant’s expansive menu of desserts. Donal says his staff leverages the recipe’s “award-winning” status in its description on the menu, and the restaurant proudly displays its Neighborhood to Nation plaque in the entryway.
Donal said it was a bit surreal when he was named a finalist, but from the time he arrived in Minneapolis for the Neighborhood to Nation finale festivities, he knew it was something special. Donal and the other finalists had the opportunity to visit General Mills headquarters for a day of inspiration and learning as well as eating—their award-winning recipes were prepared, sampled and celebrated with employees of General Mills.
“There was a real sense of camaraderie among the finalists,” said Donal, who appreciated the opportunity to brainstorm and talk shop with the other restaurant owners as well as celebrity chef Amanda Freitag. “We became a tight group over the course of just a few days.”
Since last year’s contest, Donal continues to bring the mission of Neighborhood to Nation to life—celebrating the local flavors of independent restaurants as well as the important role they play in their communities. As a frequent contributor to area charities, Donal was happy to share a portion of his $10,000 prize winnings with Meals on Wheels and the Aids Coalition of Coastal Texas.