NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Champagne was among the items included in the 1998 Food Network's Cooking Across America: The Chefs of TV Tour, co-sponsored by Lucky Stores.
A sold-out crowd of 1,250 at the Sutton Place Hotel here watched famed TV chefs David Rosengarten of "Taste," Curtis Aikens of "Pick of the Day," and Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of "Too Hot Tamales" create dishes.
The chefs cooked specialty dishes that used products from sponsors as key ingredients or as utensils in preparation and cleanup. Along with Korbel Chardonnay Champagne, Center Store sponsors included ReaLemon lemon juice, Sugar In The Raw and Scotch-Brite sponges. The Food Network is in talks with olive oil, rice, coffee, yogurt and liquor companies to serve as co-sponsors for the other 19 shows that will be held around the country this year.
Lucky co-sponsored the event, held earlier this year, along with the local cable TV company.
Officials at Lucky Stores could not be reached for comment, but Lori Greenwood, manager, client services, at the Chef Events division of New York-based Food Network described the show as having a "tremendous" turnout and "working out very well."
Greenwood said in-store participation with Lucky was limited because of time constraints in coordinating the first show of the year. However, Food Network hopes to promote the event more strongly in-store at future stops, with mentions in circulars, bag inserts, in-store signage and an appearance at one location by one of the chefs.
"In return for the retailer support, we attach retailers to our advertising and promotion and give them a boost on-site to interact with consumers. Sometimes we also give a discount on tickets to their most frequent shoppers," Greenwood said.