Vidalia Onion Committee Launches 2015 Season With New Campaign & Chef Competition

Vidalia, GA – The 4th annual Golden Onion Culinary Competition was held this past Sunday, April 26 in conjunction with the Vidalia Onion Festival in Vidalia, Georgia. 2015 marks the first time the VOC has hosted this event which included a variety of new activities and support from the Georgia Restaurant Association.

The Golden Onion competition featured six chefs from Georgia and provided them the opportunity to showcase their creativity and culinary skills using Vidalia Onions in unique recipes. Mara Davis, a local radio and TV host for Atlanta Eats and Executive Producer of Tastemade Atlanta serviced as the events emcee to further foster the new interactive format.

The first place winner of the competition was Tom Hall of Baraonda Ristorante Italiano (Atlanta, GA) with a winning dish of Vidalia Onion Latkes with Vidalia Onion and Lamb Sausage Jam. The runner-up winners were James Liles of Publik Draft House (Atlanta, GA) and Sean Fritchle of Montaluce Winery (Dahlonega, GA).

Also new to this year’s competition was a Georgia Grown Mystery Basket Challenge in which local culinary students from the South Forsyth High School in Cumming, Georgia competed to create flavorful dishes using locally grown ingredients in an appetizer, main dish and dessert round. The winner was Olivia Frisse who received a $1,000 scholarship, and the runner-up winners were Jisun Ham and Joseph Penley who received a $400 and $200 scholarship respectively from the Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia.

Susan Waters, Executive Director of the VOC commented, “We were thrilled to be hosting this competition and helping to shine a light on the amazing Georgia chefs and their talent for bringing out the sweet flavor and versatility of Vidalia onions.”

Waters continued, “The changes to this year’s event are reflective of our desire to engage with culinary professionals and consumers with fresh and on-trend content that raises the bar on the endless possibilities for Vidalia Onions.”

About Vidalia® Onions

Vidalia® onions are the pioneer of sweet onions and Georgia’s official state vegetable. Grown only in the mild climate and unique soil surrounding Vidalia, Ga.,

they’re loved by chefs and home cooks throughout the world. Vidalia® onions are hand planted and hand harvested each year, with sweet, juicy bulbs available seasonally from late April to late August. Vidalia® onions, with their mild, sweet taste, are versatile and can be used in a variety of amazing recipes. These Georgia sweeties are also a low-fat, low-cholesterol and sodium-free way to get a healthy dose of Vitamin C! For more information, visit

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee

Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit

Source: Vidalia® Onion Committee