Dan LaBrie of Clermont won the Santa Rita Wine 2013 Grand Prize for the Kick it Up a Nacho Two Sweepstakes! His recipe for Summer Veggie Nachos with Grilled Chicken and Warm Fig and Jalapeno Salsa paired with Santa Rita 120 Merlot not only wowed the judges, but the recipe appears to be wooing fans of the winery’s Facebook page with 413 “likes” in less than a week of posting.
As the Grand Prize winner, LaBrie and his wife, Mary Kay, will travel to the Santa Rita winery in Santiago, Chile, sometime in 2014.
This isn’t LaBrie’s first big win. LaBrie was featured on a steak grilling challenge which aired on “The Cooking Channel” in 2012. That same summer, LaBrie was the Grand Prize winner in a competitor winery's rib recipe contest, and this year, he was the first place winner in another contest for his shrimp wonton recipe with “Creole Bloody Mary Dipping Sauce.”
“Test Kitchen Saturdays” are part of LaBrie's winning strategy. “My wife also enters recipe contests, although not as many as I do. She has had more luck with getting recipes published. We take turns being ‘sous chef’ for each other."
LaBrie says that he and his wife would like to begin working on ways to get a couple of their favorite sauces bottled and distributed.
“That’s down the road,” says LaBrie, “but a few years ago, I didn’t even think I’d be winning cooking contests. So dreams can come true, even for a guy like me with no formal culinary training,"
For information on Dan LaBrie’s winning nacho recipe, contact Santa Rita wines through the winery’s Facebook page.