FMI's Supermarket Chef Showdown - Chef Rachael's Win in Dallas
Posted: Monday, January 16, 2012
Last month Kowalski's Markets Culinary Director, Chef Rachael Perron, took top honors in the Healthy Alternatives Culinary Competition at the Food Marketing Institute's Supermarket Chef Showdown in Dallas, TX, April 30 - May 3. Based on her entry to the recipe contest, Rachael was selected from a pool of 357 entrants as one of 20 chefs from around the country to compete in a three-day culinary competition at the industry showcase. Competing against four chefs in Healthy Alternatives, Chef Perron claimed first place with her recipe for Spiced Orange Yogurt Parfaits, which she described as "yogurt, perfected." Emcee Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru, tasting her "secret" syrup, proclaimed it "exceptional. Even judge Sandra Lee of the Food Network (who high-fived Chef Rachael for her use of whipped topping!) described Chef's dish as "stunning." For her win, Rachael received a $1,000 cash prize and a trophy-plate imprinted with the competition logo. As the Healthy Alternatives winner, Chef Perron competed in a final cook-off with the winners from the other three other categories. Chef Keoni Chang of Foodland in HI took first place. Chef Brian Dunn of Roche Bros. in MA and Chef Amber Pruett of Publix Supermarkets in FL also competed with Chef Rachael in the grand championship.
This was the inaugural year of the competition, sponsored by McCormick, Campbell's, Pictsweet, Smucker's, Hershey's, Kraft, ConAgra, and Anheuser-Busch, the aim of which was to bring attention to the culinary contributions of chefs working in grocery arena. "A lot of attention is paid to restaurant chefs and TV chefs, but grocery stores are where people come to get the makings of most of their meals." says Chef Perron. "At Kowalski's, for example, our customers are looking for meal ideas and flavorful inspirations in addition to great products, especially in prepared foods. Chefs are important to making sure that what we're offering our customers is the very best."
Make the winning recipe:
Spiced Orange Yogurt Parfaits