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Spilly’s Lake Superior Recipe Contest

Professor Athelstan Spilhaus (Spilly), Sea Grant Founder and Dean of the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology from 1949-1967, would have been 100 years old this November. Among many things, he was a man who passionately believed in creativity and enjoying the bounty of the world’s oceans and inland seas (like Lake Superior) in a sustainable way. In honor of Spilly’s birthday and Lake Superior’s sustainable fisheries, the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program is sponsoring a recipe contest devoted to fish hors d’oeuvres. Not just any fish hors d’oeuvres, however. We want to know what you can make with Lake Superior’s commercially harvested whitefish, lake herring, ciscoes and lake trout.

Contest Period

Now through August 22, 2011.


This contest is open to people who are not involved in the preparation of food or recipes for pay (i.e. "food professionals"). Employees of the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program and members of their households are also ineligible. Recipes must incorporate at least one ingredient derived from whitefish, lake herring, ciscoes or lake trout. Recipes must reflect hors d’oeuvre portioning. All entries must be received electronically or postmarked by Monday, August 22, 2011.

How To Enter

Online: Go to www.seagrant.umn.edu/fisheries/recipecontest.

By e-mail: Send your recipe to: seagr@d.umn.edu.

By mail: Send your clearly written or typed recipe and your telephone number to:

Spilly’s Lake Superior Recipe Contest
Minnesota Sea Grant
144 Chester Park
31 West College Street
Duluth, MN 55812

Photographs are welcome.


The Spilhaus Recipe Committee will rank entries based on the following criteria:

  • Appropriate Use of Lake Superior Fish (25%)

  • Perceived Taste (25%)

  • Creativity (25%)

  • Consumer Appeal (25%)

The entries receiving the top ten scores will become finalists. In the event of a tenth-place tie, the entry with the higher Perceived Taste score will become the finalist.

People’s Choice Award: The ten finalist recipes will be posted on Minnesota Sea Grant’s Web site www.seagrant.umn.edu on or about October 1, 2011.

Throughout October, visitors to the Web site will have the opportunity to view the recipes and vote for their favorite. Votes will be limited to one per person/email address per day. Voting closes on October 31 at midnight.

Kitchen-tested Winners: A panel of qualified judges appointed by Minnesota Sea Grant will kitchen-test the finalist recipes. The recipes will receive a Test Kitchen Score based on the following criteria:

  • Overall Taste (35%)

  • Appearance (25%)

  • Creativity (20%)

  • Consumer Appeal (20%)

The entrant submitting the recipe earning the highest Test Kitchen Score will be named the Grand Prize Winner. A runner-up prize and three honorable mentions will also be awarded. In the event of a tie, the entry with the higher Overall Taste score will receive the higher ranking. Kitchen-tested Winners will be notified by telephone or email by October 31, 2011.


  • Grand Prize – TBD

  • Runner-up – $50 gift certificate to the University of Minnesota Bookstore

  • Honorable Mention (3) – Wild Caught and Close to Home; Selecting and Preparing Great Lakes Whitefish. 2010. Michigan Sea Grant. (C11)

By Marte Thabes Kitson and Megan Thiesse
June 2011

Return to June 2011 Seiche

This page last modified on March 01, 2018     © 1996 – 2019 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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