|Emily Vanlandingham of Locally Preserved showcases her preserves and jams as part of The Idea Village's 9-week culinary competition.|
The participants in the competition included:
- Emily Leefe, Creole Crack (seasoning mix and oyster crackers)
- Stephanie Davis, Drinkology (bottled cocktails)
- Emily Marquis Vanlandingham, Locally Preserved (fruit syrups, jams, pepper jellies, preserves)
- Nathan Winner, Sugah Shop (online bakery delivery)
- Taryn Cabase, Taryn's Crab Cakes (handmade Louisiana blue crab patties)
- Ti Martin, Proprietor at Commander's Palace Restaurant
- John Elstrott, Chairman of Whole Foods Markets
- Allison Rouse, Executive at Rouses's Supermarkets
- Robbie Vitrano, Co-Founder of Naked Pizza
- David Darragh, CEO of Reily Foods Company
- Sandy Whann, President of Leidenheimer Baking Company
And although the panel of judges and public were impressed by all participants, one winner had to be declared. The top nod went to Vanlandingham, a chef that sources local fruits for a variety of jams, jellies, syrups, and preserves. The top prize includes $2,500 cash and a slot to participate in the Big Idea business pitch competition during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week in March (with a top prize of $50,000). Vanlandingham says she plans to use the prize and notoriety to expand her locally-themed jarred products in other cities.
According to the recent post on NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune:
The judges awarded two second-place prizes, each worth $2,500 in cash. One went to Winner, who plans for his business to become an online bakery delivering freshly baked pies and other goods. The other second-place winner was Davis, whose bottled cocktails are aimed in part at gift shoppers, starting with an introductory product she calls the "Garden District Bloody Mary."And as noted, ultimately all the participants seemed to benefit from the competition and ongoing counsel. Vanlandingham said she re-branded her products, got organized, and set new priorities based on her experience.
Joey Lehrman is a retired teacher with over 40 years of experience in the New Orleans public school system. Since retiring, he has transitioned to sharing his experience and perspective and all things New Orleans through a variety of blogs, news-sites, and social networks.