Ocean Spray announced the 2008 winners of the second-annual Ultimate Cranberry Recipe Contest who will each receive a $25,000 grand prize. Foodservice professionals nationwide were challenged with developing innovative cranberry concepts highlighting the versatility of the fruit. Justin Ward from the Art Institute of Atlanta is the foodservice winner with his “Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Mole and Cranberry Salsa” recipe.

The holiday season will be a little more delicious this year for Ward. The grand prize winner was awarded a check yesterday evening by head judge Chef Tyler Florence during a private cocktail function at 620 Loft & Garden in New York’s Rockefeller Center. The reception was held in conjunction with the debut of Ocean Spray’s “Bogs Across America” tour, which brings more than 2,000 pounds of cranberries to a free-standing bog in Rockefeller Center.

Home cooks with original cranberry recipes were invited to enter the consumer component of the contest, while the foodservice portion of the contest was open to all food professionals with a passion for cranberries, from established chefs to recent culinary graduates. The contest attracted recipes displaying the fruit’s true versatility including festive drinks, decadent desserts and tasty tarts and tapas.

Recipes were judged based on creativity, use of product, taste, overall appearance and ease of preparation. The esteemed panel of judges, including acclaimed Chef Tyler Florence, Associate Food Editor Michael Tyrell from Family Circle and noted Kroger chef, Brian Whisman, narrowed the top four finalists in each category who competed in cook-offs at DeGustibus Cooking School in New York City.