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Ocean Spray scores at Fall Harvest Weekend

by | October 17, 2010
It was a tailgating touchdown for Denise LaRoche of Hudson, NH, whose recipe for spicy cranberry chicken sidekick sliders with spicy cranberry aioli won bragging rights to the title Official Tailgate Recipe of the New England Patriots.

Ms. LaRoche won over the judges with her creative use of cranberries using "Ocean Spray" fresh cranberries and “Ocean Spray” whole berry cranberry sauce.

Ms. LaRoche was among three finalists who participated in Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc.'s Tailgating Recipe Contest at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA.

The contest was held in conjunction with Ocean Spray’s Fall Harvest Weekend Oct. 2-3 at Patriot Place, which included cranberry harvest and recipe demonstrations, hayrides, pumpkin carving, a farmers market and the Taste of Patriot Place.

The contest was open to New England residents with a passion for cranberries and tailgating. The recipes had to be original and reflect the overall theme of tailgating. Creations were judged on uniqueness, use of product, taste, overall appearance and ease of preparation.

The panel of judges was comprised of celebrity chef Ming Tsai, New England Patriots Hall of Famer Steve Grogan and Cindy Taccini, senior test kitchen manager at Ocean Spray.

“Cranberries are more than a Thanksgiving staple,” Larry Martin, vice president of marketing for Ocean Spray, said in an Oct. 4 press release. “Our Tailgating Recipe Contest allows us to celebrate two fall passions — football and tailgating — and inspires people to explore the versatility of our native fruit, no matter the activity, party or gathering this fall.”

Mr. Tsai, host of public television’s Emmy-nominated Simply Ming and chef- owner of the award-winning Blue Ginger, judged the contest and announced the winner.

In addition to bragging rights, Ms. LaRoche received a prize package including two tickets to the Oct. 17 New England Patriots game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Mr. Tsai, a football enthusiast, also got in on the action by preparing several of his favorite tailgate recipes, including cranberry-hoisin glazed barbecue ribs using “Ocean Spray” fresh cranberries.

The winning recipe will be posted on the official New England Patriots web site (, delivered to thousands of Patriots fans via the Patriots Now newsletter and will be featured on