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New Safeway Chef to be Named Soon

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway has chosen the six “People’s Choice” semifinalists who will compete to become the retailer’s next chef.

Among them is Nathan Lopez of Dublin, Calif. Lopez graduated from the California Culinary Academy, and is employed as an assistant kitchen supervisor for the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco. He is working toward a bachelor’s degree in nutrition.

“I’m passionate about creating nutritious, healthful and delicious meals readily available to everyone,” Lopez says in a video profile posted on the Safeway Facebook page.

The public can vote for each candidate on the Safeway Facebook page. The top three People’s Choice winners will compete against nine other contestants in regional cook-offs in San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago during the week of April 23. Four contestants will compete in each region. The three regional winners will compete at the final cook-off at Safeway's headquarters on May 16.

The winner will work alongside chefs in the Safeway Culinary Kitchens, a 4,000-square-foot food development facility. The winner’s recipe will become an Open Nature Skillet Meal sold in Safeway stores. Open Nature is Safeway’s new natural private-label lines of natural foods.

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