Category > Chef Richie Says!

October means a lot of things to me and my kitchen. It’s the end of tomatoes and their summer brothers and sisters. The harvest moon and the cornucopia. Autumn squashes, Halloween, the Great Pumpkin and root vegetables are coming in. And autumn has inspired me to choose Toni Sevenhouse’s Bruschetta Vegetti as this month’s honorable mention recipe. Congratulations chef Toni, you win a Bella Sun Luci gift box full of our products! And, as you can see, we’ve immortalized your recipe through the magic of video.

2019 October Honorable Mention Recipe - Bruschetta Vegetti featured image

This month (and Happy June!...to you and yours!) is the beginning of summer, the solstice, and my favorite time of year…FOR FOOD! Sun dried tomatoes pack a flavorful punch, they add flavor and color to almost any dish, and they have abundant lycopene, an important antioxidant. So use sun dried tomatoes YEAR ROUND! That’s what home chef Kim Patterson has done with her recipe for Freshest Pasta Salad. Congratulations Chef! We’re sending you a deluxe gift box of our products so you can play with/work on a new recipe for next year’s contest!

June Honorable Mention Recipe - Freshest Pasta Salad featured image

I was strolling through the park one day, in the very merry month of May…when I was taken by surprise…by an amazing recipe that has become this month’s recipe contest honorable mention winner! GREAT job, home chef Julie Love! Congratulations! Your Bacon, Pimento and Sun Dried Tomato Stack is DELICIOUS! You’ll receive a big Bella Sun Luci gift box full of our products so you can work up a new recipe and hopefully win next year!

May Honorable Mention Recipe - Bacon, Pimento and Sun Dried Tomato Stack featured image

April Honorable Mention Recipe

Spring is swinging! Flowers are blooming! Birds are singing! Bees are pollinating! And people are planting their summer gardens…now. Now is the time ladies and gentlemen. But until fresh tomatoes come…during these other 8 months, sun dried tomatoes are the best choice, for flavor and nutrition. Somehow, Joanne Schmidt, this month’s recipient of the Bella Sun Luci Recipe Contest Honorable Mention Award, knew that. This is actually a nourish bowl recipe! You’ll see when you go to cook this that the cutlets are cut up “bite size” and tossed in with the grains. Congratulations Chef Joanne! You’ll receive a big Bella Sun Luci gift box full of our products so you can work up a new recipe and hopefully win next year!

April Honorable Mention Recipe featured image

Seventh Place Runner Up

Here comes springtime! La Primavera! And for your celebratory Easter/spring feast I’m giving you two recipes for the price of one! We had two different cornbread recipes (one is muffins) entered into our contest and I thought, why don’t we have them compete against each other?! Then I thought, why don’t we COMBINE them into one…

Seventh Place Runner Up featured image

Belli amici! Cooks and chefs! Food lovers! Love is in the air! And this month’s honorable mention recipe combines flavors from what I consider to be the two most romantic cultures on planet earth. This dish comes with a hot and spicy kick. It’ll make you sweat. Do we understand each other?! And, food lovers, February is National Heart Healthy Month!

Sixth Runner Up - Zucchini & Chicken MexItaliano featured image

Fifth Place Runner Up - Baked Ziti

Happy New Year!  Today we are announcing our January honorable mention. When looking for a winner for January, we knew we were searching for something comforting, delicious, and served hot out of the oven. This month has been COLD in most parts of the country, and for those of you stuck in the snow, start preheating those ovens because we’ve chosen this dish just for you!

Fifth Place Runner Up - Baked Ziti  featured image

Fourth Runner Up - 2017 Recipe Contest

Belli amici! Cooks and chefs! Foodistas! HEY…ohhh…how ya DOIN’?! Chef Richie says: HAPPY HOLIDAYS! As 2017 comes to a close, and what a year it has been ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to celebrate! Celebrate being alive! Celebrate food, friends, and family! Celebrating all year long is a great idea too; I highly recommend doing so. However, December is unlike the other months. Magic is in the air…and in the kitchen. December’s mouthwatering Honorable Mention recipe, submitted by Chef Aja Breuer…congratulations chef! This might have been one of the three finalists in the competition. It certainly IS delicious and some of the technique is chefly. And, I love this, the recipe calls for our sun dried tomato risotto. But there are a couple of technical points and an additional opinion (mine) or two to discuss.

Fourth Runner Up - 2017 Recipe Contest featured image

Third Runner Up - 2017 Recipe Contest

Belli amici! Cooks and chefs! Foodistas! HEY…ohhh…how ya DOIN’?! Chef Richie here to say this: EVERYTHING IS OPTIONAL. YOU’RE the chef…master of your domain (kitchen). YOU make the rules.

Third Runner Up - 2017 Recipe Contest featured image

Second Runner Up - 2017 Recipe Contest

Belli amici! Cooks and chefs! Foodistas! HEY…ohhh…how ya DOIN’?! Chef Richie here to share the culinary…Mediterranean…flavor explosion! This month’s mouthwatering Honorable Mention recipe contains four of my favorite words: Hearty. Zesty. Tuscan. Soup.

Second Runner Up - 2017 Recipe Contest featured image

2017 Recipe Contest Winners!

The grand prize winner of our annual Bella Sun Luci recipe contest, Lauren Katz, was awarded a $2,500 cash prize for her mouthwatering Shrimp and Zoodle Pappardelle with Bella Cream Sauce. Like all of the contestants, Lauren’s original award-winning dish featured at least one Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato product as a key ingredient.

2017 Recipe Contest Winners! featured image

First Runner Up - 2017 Recipe Contest

Belli amici! Cooks and chefs! Foodistas! HEY…ohhh…how ya DOIN’?!  Now that the cat’s out of the bag with the announcement of the big three winning recipes in the Bella Sun Luci recipe contest, I’m gonna talk about dishes that didn’t finish on the podium, one per month. Please feel free to talk back at me….ask any questions…I’m here for ya. These dishes are getting honorably mentioned because they too had flashes of brilliance and they might be something you’ll want to cook at home. You’ll also get an idea…or two…about how the winners get chosen so that you can win next year’s contest. To give each honoree a head start on making that happen, a Bella Sun Luci gift box full of our sun dried tomato products, our epic arbequina olive oil and our risotto mix is gonna arrive in the mail.  And this month’s gift box goes to…drrrummmrrroolllll…

First Runner Up - 2017 Recipe Contest featured image

Zippy Tomato Pesto Shrimp – 6th Runner Up!

It’s February and love is in the air!!! Chef Richie says, I <3 You!! If there had been a recipe contest submission for beef heart this year, I’d be tempted to honorably mention it this month (it’s actually really good if done right…we used to grill it at Augusta’s in Berkeley a lifetime ago, served with sweet balsamic reduction gravy). Alas, nobody has thought to add sun dried tomatoes to actual heart. So instead, I’ll honorably mention some other lovey dovey food.

Zippy Tomato Pesto Shrimp – 6th Runner Up! featured image

2016 Recipe Contest Winners!

Mooney Farms is proud to announce the winners of our 2016 Annual Bella Sun Luci Recipe Contest! It was a great year full of delicious recipes but we have narrowed them down to just three amazing creations. Drum roll please...

2016 Recipe Contest Winners! featured image

Hello fellow food enthusiasts! Chef Richie here, at your culinary service. Happy New Year!!! Can you believe it?! It’s 2017?! Let’s start this year out with a BAM! Congratulations to home chef Roxanne Chan who came up with a big bold hearty dish for our recipe contest – Slow Cooked Sicilian Lamb Shanks – very nice work chef! BRAVA! BRAVISSIMA!