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Staunton, Virginia Chef Wins National Hazelnut Contest


Hazelnut Marketing Board Announces Chef Recipe Contest Winner


Aurora, Ore. (April 24, 2020) – The Hazelnut Marketing Board (HMB) has selected a winning recipe as a result of a three-month long chef recipe contest. The nationwide contest, which ran January 1-March 9, encouraged foodservice professionals to submit unique recipes featuring Oregon hazelnuts. 

Contest submissions were judged on the following criteria: Creative use of Oregon hazelnuts (50%), and overall culinary creativity (which includes (3) factors: originality, appetite appeal and presentation) (50%). After careful consideration of all submissions, the Oregon Hazelnut ‘Cacio de Pepe’ with Crispy Sage from Executive Chef Matt Hull of Zynodoa, Staunton, VA, was chosen as the winning recipe. 

“I really wanted to think of a different way to use the hazelnuts – not just toasting or making a candied hazelnut,” explains Chef Hull. “Ultimately I went the pasta dough route and milled them into flour.”

Furthermore, he notes that “hazelnuts are one of my favorite nuts because of the crunchy but somewhat waxy texture. As a chef, I love the versatility of hazelnuts. They can be savory or sweet like a hazelnut butter paired with chocolate or you can have one dish that has three different uses of the nut.”

About Chef Matt Hull

Matt is a lifelong resident of Virginia who comes from a family of cooks – he was raised to be a chef. Right out of high school, Matt studied at the Culinary Institute of Virginia to grow his skills and gain experience in the kitchen. Shortly after graduating, he joined the team at Zynodoa and quickly influenced the menu with his personal touch. Matt believes the best meals come from fresh and organic ingredients.

About the Hazelnut Marketing Board 

The Hazelnut Marketing Board was established in 1949 by the growers and handlers of hazelnuts. The purpose of the board is to set quality standards for the industry, ensure all imported product meet U.S. standards and provide funding for promotion of hazelnuts through research, education and promotion programs. For more information, visit

Read the article here. 

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