Local chef finalist in contest

Published 9:34 am Friday, August 24, 2012

Heather Friis, the executive chef and food and beverage director at Cypress Cove Country Club in Franklin, is vying for a $20,000 prize in the Next Top Product contest.

Heather, 28, of Franklin submitted her own recipe for what she calls European seafood cake. It was chosen as one of 10 finalists for the national contest launched by US Foods. The public will choose a winner by voting on Facebook.

Heather was “playing around one day” when she came up with the recipe, which includes shrimp, crab, artichoke hearts, onion, Parmesan cheese, roasted red peppers, Italian seasoning, lemon juice, mayonnaise and bread crumbs.

The country club will host a public tasting from 6-8 p.m. today, Aug. 24.

To vote, go to Facebook and do a search for US Foods. “Like” US Foods. Click on the Next Top Product and follow steps for voting once daily through Sept. 7

Heather’s recipe was the only one selected from Virginia. If she wins, $15,000 would go toward upgrading the restaurant at the country club and she would receive $5,000.

Heather is the daughter-in-law to John and Gena Friis of Franklin. She is married to their son, James.

A native of Woodbury, N.J., Heather grew up in Virginia Beach and studied at Johnson & Wales University in Norfolk.

Before moving to Franklin, she worked at the Salt Water Grill in Panama City, Fla., and Blue Crab Restaurant and Kincaid’s, both in Norfolk.

• In other restaurant news, Ivor native Earl Branche, 81, was buried Monday in Ivor Cemetery.

Earl, who died on Aug. 15, retired as maitre d’ of Antiquities Restaurant in Norfolk where he was known for his signature tableside service.

Earl started his restaurant career in Norfolk in the early 1960s at The Nations Room, where he remained for some time. From there, he became maitre d’ at Neptune’s Galley in Willoughby and served in the same capacity at Orion’s Roof at the oceanfront and restaurants on the Lower Peninsula.

He was living in Virginia Beach at the time of his death.

• Nansemond-Suffolk Academy sophomore Shay Austin Wood received his Eagle Scout Award. Shay built three footbridges at Suffolk Youth Athletic Association on Kings Fork Road for his project, making the fields wheelchair accessible.

• Also from NSA, the Golden Saints athletic boosters will hold a membership drive cookout from 6 to 8 p.m. today, Aug. 24, at the Arthur E. Jones Athletic Field.

The event will be used to kick off the 2012-2013 sports season. The first 100 families who join will be entered in a drawing to win Golden Saints apparel. For information, call 539-8789, ext. 3234.

GWEN ALBERS is managing editor of The Tidewater News. Her email address is gwen.albers@tidewaternews.com.