Safeway Holds Cook-Off for Skillet Meal Line

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway [3] here on Wednesday said it is launching a competition for chefs to win a job with Safeway and get their name on a new line of skillet meals.

The competition will culminate in a final cook-off at the Safeway Culinary Kitchens here, where chefs will cook their original skillet meals. Alexandra Guarnaschelli, who appears on Food Network programs Chopped and Iron Chef, will join an experienced judging panel of Safeway chefs and executives to select the winning chef. The winning recipe will be included in the Open Nature Skillet Meal line sold in Safeway stores nationwide.

"We know our busy shoppers want delicious, healthier and convenient meals," Mike Minasi, president of marketing at Safeway, said in a statement. "Our state-of-the-art Culinary Kitchens feature 4,000 square feet of food development work space, including a kitchen set-up reminiscent of what our shoppers have in their homes. It is here that we are able to develop innovative Safeway food products tailored to what our shoppers want — great tasting food at affordable prices.”

Safeway previously developed new recipes in its test restaurant, Citrine Bistro, but the company closed its only location last year. Safeway said it was calling for candidates to join the competition on Facebook and has set up regional cook-offs at California Culinary Academy in San Francisco; Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Seattle; and Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago in late April.