At Nicky USA's 9th annual Wild About Game Festival on Sept. 27, chefs David Kreifels and Will Cisa, of Laurelhurst Market in Portland, Ore., won first place in the Wild About Game cook-off. Their chard-wrapped rabbit saddle and sausage stuffed into the hindquarter with Viridian tarbais beans and salmis sauce (recipe below) beat out original dishes from nine other chefs.
(l to r) Chef Will Cisa and chef David Kreifels

The other winners were as follows: Phillip Oswalt, Mutlnomah Athletic Club, took second place with his roasted venison rack, matsutake and venison liver hash in a sherry reduction; and Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, won third place with his buffalo heart and onion pierogi with seared liver, figs, chestnuts and brown butter.

Chard-wrapped rabbit saddle and sausage stuffed into the hindquarter with Viridian tarbais beans and salmis sauce
Chefs Will Cisa and David Kreifels, Laurelhurst Market, Portland, Ore.

Yield: 5 servings

3 rabbits
1# swiss chard, stems removed
1 oz. bacon, diced
1 egg
2 oz. cream
1# crepinette (caul fat), soaked in water and divided
3 oz. fatback, cubed
1 Asian pear, divided
3 oz. foie gras, cubed and divided
1 T. Viridian farms Piment d' Esplette
4 oz. bacon, thinly sliced
2 c. veal stock
Viridian Tarbais Beans (recipe follows)

Method (1) Remove loins, tenderloins, hindquarters and forequarters from rabbits. Remove livers and kidneys; clean and reserve. Remove meat from forequarters, and chill. Clean bellies, and chill. Reserve bones. (2) Blanch chard in heavily salted water, and shock in ice water. Lay it out in strips on a lint-free rag. (3) Prepare a mousseline by puréeing chilled rabbit bellies and 1 oz. bacon in a food processor until smooth. Add egg and cream while the machine is running; strain through a tamis. (4) Lay two loins from each rabbit out head to tail, cover one side of each with mousseline. (5) Place a neat layer of chard on the cutting board, top with two loins, stacked head to tail with the tenderloins and mousseline in the middle. Wrap neatly with chard, and trim edges. (6) Repeat process with the other four loins and tenderloins. Wrap each package in caul fat. Refrigerate. (7) Remove bones from thighs; trim any visible silver skin. Place thighs between two layers of plastic wrap, and pound to a uniform width. (8) Grind forequarters, pork fatback, half the pear, 1 oz. foie gras and Piment d' Esplette in the coarse blade of a meat grinder. Repeat. (9) Work this mixture by hand (wearing gloves) until the fat becomes well integrated. (10) Cook a small amount, and check for seasoning. Fill the thighs with a comfortable amount of the forcemeat. Reserve the remaining forcemeat. Wrap thighs in sliced bacon, then in crepinette. (11) To make the sauce, roast rabbit bones, and simmer in veal stock for one hour. Strain, and reserve. (12) Grind livers. (13) At the very last minute, sauté livers and foie gras. Add to sauce, and purée until bound, but still chunky. (14) To assemble, sauté saddles until medium well, finishing in the oven, taking care to render the crepinette but retain the chard’s color. (15) Sauté thighs on a higher heat until the forcemeat is cooked through, taking care to render the bacon. (16) Slice saddles and legs into 3/4” rounds, and arrange on top of Viridian Tarbais Beans. (17) Dredge cleaned kidneys in flour, and sauté quickly. Cut in half, and arrange on top of saddles and legs on top of the beans. (18) Serve sauce on the side.

Viridian Tarbais Beans
2 oz. bacon, diced
1 yellow onion, minced
4 celery ribs, minced
6 Basque frying peppers, seeded
1/2 c. Viridian tarbais beans
4 c. chicken stock
Reserved rabbit and fatback forcemeat
3 oz. tomato confit (skinned, seeded tomatoes cooked slowly in oil, oil reserved)
Handful parsley, chopped
Handful chives, chopped
2 oz. breadcrumbs

Method (1) Sauté diced bacon until crispy. Add the onion, celery and peppers; sweat. Add beans and chicken stock; cook until tender. (2) When finished, strain and reduce cooking liquid to sauce consistency. (3) Return liquid to beans. Sauté reserved forcemeat, and add tomato confit, parsley and chives to beans. (4) Divide beans in 5 cast iron pans. (5) Top with breadcrumbs, reserved tomato confit oil, and gratiné.
In order to raise awareness of childhood hunger, malnutrition and obesity in America, The American Culinary Federation Chef (ACF) & Child Foundation Inc. (CFI) will celebrate national Childhood Nutrition Day on Oct. 16. Since its launch in 1995, Childhood Nutrition Day has focused on the need for education about childhood hunger, proper nutrition and obesity issues. Chefs belonging to local ACF chapters across the country participate in events within their communities to help feed hungry children and promote awareness of proper nutrition. The day is planned to coincide with World Food Day, a global event dedicated to alleviating world hunger.

CCF's mission is to educate children and families in understanding proper nutrition through community-based initiatives led by the ACF chef members, and to be the voice of the culinary industry in its fight against childhood hunger, malnutrition and obesity. For more information, visit