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WMMB Recognizes Winners of Wisconsin Cheese Recipe Contest

Apr 19, 2013

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) recently recognized 12 Johnson & Wales University culinary students for their outstanding recipes incorporating Wisconsin Cheese. The contest, presented in conjunction with Johnson & Wales, challenged postsecondary culinary students to create a unique recipe featuring one of three Wisconsin Cheeses: Carr Valley Cranberry Chipotle Cheddar, Sartori BellaVitano® and Emmi Roth Grand Cru® Gruyere.

Individual recipe competitions were held at the four Johnson & Wales campuses: Providence, R.I.; North Miami, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; and Charlotte, N.C. Sara Hill, culinary manager, Cheese Education for WMMB visited each campus prior to the start of the competition to conduct a Wisconsin Cheese education session with the students. The competition drew more than 20 recipe entries from each campus.

"I was very impressed with the quality of the entries we received," said Hill. "The recipes reflected the knowledge gained from the education sessions, resulting in very creative applications for Wisconsin Cheese."

The top five recipes at each school were selected by school instructors, with the students participating in a cook off-style final judging session. First, second, and third place cash prizes were awarded at each campus.

Deborah Neel received first place at the Denver campus for her Wisconsin BellaVitano® Baked Empanadas recipe. Second and third place awards were presented to Kiley Fraley and Diedra Hill, respectively. Download a high-res image of the Denver winners. Photo Caption: Wisconsin Cheese Recipe Contest award winners from the Denver Johnson & Wales campus. From left to right: Diedra Hill, Deborah Neel, Kiley Fraley. A photo of the first place recipe is available upon request. Please contact Megan Bykowski at to request the image.

Wisconsin BellaVitano® Baked Empanadas

Makes 16 puffs

10-12 dates, chopped
5 strips turkey bacon, fried crisp and chopped
6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) Wisconsin BellaVitano Gold Cheese, cut into small cubes
1 8-ounce can Pillsbury croissant dinner rolls dough
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/2 cup balsamic glaze
Black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, combine dates, turkey bacon and cheese; set aside. Unroll croissant dough, keeping dough intact as one piece. Place dough on slightly floured surface and roll to smooth pre-cut lines. Using a knife, cut dough into 8 equal rectangles.

Divide cheese and date mixture equally among rectangles; placing mixture only on half of each rectangle. Fold remaining dough over filling to make a square and seal edges with egg wash. Press down edges to ensure a good seal. Bake 10 to 12 minutes; until pastry squares are puffed and light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly. In small bowl, combine balsamic glaze and pepper; drizzle over puffs before serving.

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About Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin: Funded by Wisconsin dairy farmers, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin is a non-profit organization that focuses on marketing and promoting Wisconsin’s world-class dairy products. For more information, visit our website at

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