Veal Competition

Veal Competition

Watertown Daily Times, Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Cavallario’s has its own ‘iron chef’
BEST IN BEEF: Cucina co-owner’s creation of veal roulade al verde takes two prizes


Traditional Italian ingredients with a dash of creativity paid off for the co-owner of Cavallario’s Cucina on March 7 when she competed in a contest sponsored by the New York State Beef Industry Council in Canandaigua. Brenda T. Cavallario’s creation, veal roulade al verde, won awards at the Beef Council’s Veal Platinum Plate contest, an “iron chef”-type event held at the New York Wine & Culinary Center in Ontario County.

Mrs. Cavallario said there were 30 nominations but only seven were chosen to compete.

Cavallario’s Cucina, 133 N. Massey St., was picked for the council’s western region in the state, which Mrs. Cavallario said goes up to Watertown, as far east as Albany and as far southwest as Buffalo.

Mrs. Cavallario, who owns the cucina with her husband, Peter G., said the Beef Council accepted nominations from beef packers and vendors. The council then looked at the menus of the nominees.

It was the first contest hosted by the Beef Council at the Culinary Center, which opened in 2005. It’s a nonprofit organization that serves as a gateway to the agricultural, wine and food products of the state.

There were several sub-categories under the Platinum Plate contest. Mrs. Cavallario took first place under the flavor category, winning $500. “It was the savoriness of the main ingredient but with other ingredients standing out also,” Mrs. Cavallario said.

She also won first place in the People’s Choice award, a separate category, winning $1,000.

Mrs. Cavallario is a self-taught chef. She said her main inspiration for the prize-winning dish is her Italian background. “They are just so earthy people,” she said. “They eat from the land. That’s one of the things I pride myself on – using fresh, wholesome ingredients.”

Those ingredients in veal roulade al verde include rosemary, sage, extra virgin olive oil, baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and “lots of fresh garlic.” Proscuitto di Parma, a type of Italian ham, also was added. The ingredients were placed on top of a veal cutlet, which was rolled before cooking.

“We had a secret coating and it was seared and roasted and served with sweet Marsala rosemary cream sauce,” Mrs. Cavallario said.

The dish is on the restaurant’s menu as a chef’s special.


This article first appeared in the Watertown Daily Times on Tuesday, March 27, 2007. Copyright 2007-2012, Watertown Daily Times. Used with permission.