Aug 24, 2018 • By

This winning recipe takes the cake 

Dennis Chan’s recipe for Sunshine State Orange Crunch Cake was already a fan favorite among his customers at Blue Bamboo in Jacksonville, Florida.

But now the popular dessert, which takes its name from Florida and the state fruit, has the added distinction as the Grand Prize in the 2018 Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest from General Mills Foodservice (announced today at Blue Bamboo).

Sunshine-State-Orange-Crunch Cake

For the contest, Chan amped up his signature orange cake by using an orange sauce to moisten Gold Medal Yellow Cake layers and stacking them between alternating layers of airy pineapple cream cheese icing and crisp baked Pillsbury’s Best Puff Pastry Dough for a luscious creamy, crunchy Napoleon-style textured dessert.

“When someone thinks of our state, they often think of Florida Oranges,” says Chan. “With the help of General Mills products, we were able to express the flavor of our area in a new way. This recipe has varying textures of creamy, crunchy, and crispy all layered with the goodness of Florida Oranges in a comforting cake.”


Dennis Chan celebrates with Shawn O’Grady, Group President, Convenience Stores & Foodservice at General Mills – and The Pillsbury Doughboy! (August 24, 2018)

Chan thought the General Mills Foodservice team was at Blue Bamboo today to present him with his regional winner prize in the contest. But they had another plan up their sleeves – to break the news that he also was the Grand Prize winner.

“I was absolutely surprised today!” Chan says. “The biggest joy that I will get out of winning this contest is that I get to share a little bit of my hometown of  Jacksonville, Florida, and the flavors of my restaurant Blue Bamboo with the rest of the world.”

The Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest celebrates independent restaurants and food trucks and showcases their one-of-a-kind dishes that reflect their local flavor. The 4th annual contest drew entrants from across the U.S. and resulted in five regional winners.

Aside from Chan, the South East Region Winner, the other regional winners included:

Bryan Bennett, South Central Region, Manager and Chef, Back Street Food Truck in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for his Sea Salt Caramel Bacon Pecan Pie

Dan Duris, North East Region, Co-owner and Chef, Gypsy Café in Lincoln, New Hampshire, for his Bacon Corn Johnny Cakes with Maple Drizzle

Anne Klingler, North Central Region, Chef and Owner, Outlanders in Marquette, Michigan, for her Thai Basil Bowl

Nick Shipp, West Region, Executive Chef and Partner, Upper West Restaurant in Santa Monica, California, for his Mushroom Tart with Tomato Jam, Goat Cheese and Fresh Oregano


Each regional winner received $5,000, and an additional $1,000 to share with a charity of their choice in their community.

For the past two weeks, our Neighborhood to Nation ‘Prize Patrol’ has traveled to the hometowns of each of the winners to host special celebrations at their restaurants among their staff, friends and family and greater community.


Bryan Bennett, winner of the South Central Region, from the Back Street Food Truck in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


Dan Duris, winner of the North East Region, from the Gypsy Café in Lincoln, New Hampshire.


Anne Klingler, winner of the North Central Region, from Outlanders in Marquette, Michigan.


Nick Shipp, winner of the West Region, from the Upper West Restaurant in Santa Monica, California.

The Pillsbury Doughboy was at Chan’s hometown celebration today to help surprise him. The Grand Prize in the contest earns Chan a total of $30,000, plus $5,000 to share with a local non-profit. He chose to donate to Real Men Wear Pink of Jacksonville, a campaign from the American Cancer Society that rallies men across the country to join the fight against breast cancer.

“The donation will make a very big difference in the campaign demonstrating how the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest not only helps to further our area’s food reputation, it is also helping save lives,” says Chan.


The fun isn’t over yet for Chan. He’ll travel to the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival, the premier food and wine event celebrating America’s favorite foods, in October, where he will showcase and sample his Sunshine State Orange Cake as part their industry trade event.

For more information on Neighborhood to Nation and all of the 2018 winners, visit

You can learn more about General Mills Convenience & Foodservice at 

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