Third Annual “America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest” Whips Up a “Baker’s Dozen” of Winners

The results are in! Thirteen winners have been announced in the third annual America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest – one more than originally intended with two student contestants winning the Co-Grand Prizes in the Artisan Category.

With 85 initial entries submitted by professional and student bakers throughout the country, 38 finalists were chosen to advance to the second round at the American Institute of Baking (AIB) in Manhattan, Kansas on October 14-16. Among the finalists, 13 winners emerged based on the taste, appearance, originality and value of their formulas, which ranged from savory Raisin Focaccia Bread with goat cheese and caramelized onions to sweet Raisin Pecan Caramel Rolls.

Thank you to all who entered and to our winners for their hard work and creativity! And the winners, are…

Artisan Category:

Grand Prize: Mitch Stamm, Johnson & Wales University, Courrone Aux Raisins

Judges Prize: Kevin Knight, Anjou Bakery, Deep Dark Delicious (a.k.a. D3)

Idea Prize: Ray McCue, Johnson & Wales University, California Raisin Focaccia with Goat Cheese & Caramelized Onions

Commercial Baking Category:

Grand Prize: Shawn Kearns, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Split Top Buttermilk Raisin Bread

Judges Prize: Steve Barnhart, Highland Baking Company, Chocolate Gold

Idea Prize: Lin Carson, Wendy’s New Bakery Co., Raisin “Stuffin” Mini Buns

Breakfast Category:

Grand Prize: Angela Dodd, Cargill (Integrated Bakery Resources), Raisin Pecan Caramel Rolls

Judges Prize: Mike Dixon, Dawn Food Products, Golden Raisin Walnut Flip

Idea Prize: Mary Vande Walle, Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe, Carmel Apple Stuffed French Toast

Student Category:

Artisan Co-Grand Prize Winner: Chee Her, California State University Fresno, Pan De Pasas

Artisan Co-Grand Prize Winner: Oprah Davidson, Ritz-Carlton/Johnson & Wales University, Caramelized Apples & Golden Raisin Ciabatta

Commercial Grand Prize: Kacy Charlesworth, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Thanksgiving Raisin Bread

Breakfast Grand Prize: Katrina Snelgrove, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Coconut Rum Raisin Bread