One of the most respected and recognized names in Port, Cockburn’s, and the nationally acclaimed School of Culinary Arts at Kendall College proudly announce the student team of Tracey Torres, 21, and Jeremy Fisher, 27, both of Chicago, as the winners of the Cockburn’s Culinary Competition.

With a focus on reinvigorating culinary experiences, the competition challenged top Kendall College culinary arts students 21 years of age or older to create innovative recipes and pairing incorporating Cockburn’s Special Reserve Port–the world’s most popular premium Port. The winning team was determined during a live, judged tasting event at Kendall College on Wednesday, December 10. The team was awarded a four-day, five-night educational tour to Cockburn’s winery in the prominent Douro Valley in Northern Portugal. Runners-up included the team of Taleia Monty and Kristin Moore, of Chicago, and the team of Amy Dannenberger and Aaron Haas, of Chicago and Schaumburg, respectively.

“Cockburn’s challenged the competitors to highlight the rich, complex flavors of Cockburn’s Special Reserve, and the results were exquisite,” says Miguel Corte Real, General Manager and Master Blender, Cockburn’s. “Cockburn’s is honored to have worked with this talented group of aspiring chefs. We are the true winner of this competition.”

The winning recipe offered an original twist on traditional Portuguese cuisine, featuring crispy braised pork belly, migas, and black beluga lentils, complemented by frisee salad tossed in a Cockburn’s Special Reserve vinaigrette.

Entries were judged on several criteria, including overall taste, presentation, inventiveness, and the original use of Cockburn’s Special Reserve. The distinguished panel of judges included Corte Real along with some of Kendall College’s most distinguished alum, including: Shawn McClain (Owner and Chef, Spring, Green Zebra and Custom House), Christopher Koetke (Dean, Kendall College), Angela Roman (Wine Director, The Signature Room), Stephanie Izard (2008 Winner, Bravo TV’s “Top Chef”).