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2018 Recipe Contest Winner – Chef John O’Neil and His Date-Stuffed Peppadew® Peppers

Oct 19, 2018Posted by Forno Bravo


The results of our 2018 Recipe Contest are in! Thank you to everyone who submitted a recipe and to everyone who tried a recipe and then voted for your favorite. We had some delicious entries and a strong response to the call for voting, especially from Texas. So without further ado — Drum roll, please …And the winner is Chef John O’Neil and his innovative recipe for the delightfully sweet, savory, and spicy Date-Stuffed Peppadew® Peppers!

Wrapped peppers plated in serving spoons on a butcher block

Plated Date-Stuffed Peppadew Pepper Appetizer

In this dish, small Peppadew® Peppers (mild or hot) are filled with a mixture of soft cheese, dates, and honey, and then wrapped in sliced ham, baked and basted in the wood fired oven, and then garnished with more honey and herbs! Just Wow! Chef John’s instructions are easy to follow and his detailed photos really help walk you through the steps needed to successfully complete this interesting and flavorful appetizer.

Find the Recipe Here

Runners Up

Second place honors went to home chef, Ahmad Zeabi and his recipe for Eid Bread, a special holiday flatbread popular in the Middle East. It is filled with various seeds and rich olive oil, and then pressed into a wooden mold before baking to achieve its distinctive patterns. It can be served plain or used for dipping or with various toppings.  We love the diversity of the food you can cook in a Forno Bravo oven!

Eid Bread surrounded by bowls of toppings

A sample of Eid Bread and its optional toppings

Third place went to Chef John’s Wood Fired Peach Caprese Salad, another delicious concoction made with fire roasted peaches, mozzarella cheese, basil, and some other surprise ingredients!

Biography of our Contest Winner

Chef John O’Neil is a man with a rich culinary background who has worn many hats throughout his career. He describes himself as a chef, entrepreneur, teacher, kitchen designer, grill master, coffee lover, and wood fired oven specialist. He grew up around the kitchen, where special occasions involved preparing meals with his parents from scratch at home. After serving in the Navy, John graduated from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. He has mentored under well-known chefs and worked in kitchens from Arizona to Texas. He even owned a coffee shop in Boulder, Colorado, while he indulged a passion and immersed himself in that part of the industry for a time. John has also served as the lead culinary instructor for Collin College’s culinary arts program, helping to train the next generation of chefs.

Chef John is currently based in Dallas, TX, where he continues to speak, teach, write, and cook. He shared with us that he has owned various Forno Bravo ovens throughout the years. He currently has a Bella Stainless Steel Wood Fired Pizza Oven at his home that he uses for entertaining, cooking for his family, and developing new dishes.

man removing grilled peaches from Bella Grande 32 oven

Chef John Checking a Dish in his Bella Grande32 Stainless Steel Wood Fired Oven

You can follow his adventures and artistic photographs of food on his website, or through his Instagram and Facebook pages. We appreciate his three contributions to the 2018 Recipe Contest and to the Forno Bravo Community Cookbook. Be sure to give them a try!



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