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FMI Opens Applications for Chef Showdown

ARLINGTON, Va. — Food Marketing Institute here said Tuesday it has begun accepting applicants for the Supermarket Chef Showdown, to take place at FMI Connect next June at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Supermarket chefs can enter their recipes at in up to five categories: Healthy Meals, Family Meals, Ethnic Meals, Dessert and Side-Dishes/Mini Meals/Snacks. All recipes must use at least three eligible ingredients and take 20 minutes or less to prepare (not including baking or cooling time).

The Showdown, of which SN is a media sponsor, is free to enter. The deadline for entries is Nov. 15, 2013.


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The top 25 finalists will compete live in front of celebrity judges in a special kitchen stadium created on the convention floor at FMI Connect.

“Through the friendly competition of last year’s first-ever Supermarket Chef Showdown, FMI cast a deserving spotlight on the culinary expertise found in neighborhood supermarkets across America, as supermarket chefs share their menu creativity, flavor findings and kitchen skills with grocery shoppers every day,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI president and chief executive officer. “The 2014 edition of the showdown at FMI Connect in Chicago promises to enlarge that spotlight with expanded categories and recipe challenges; allowing even more chefs to let their tastes, talents and techniques shine on our industry-wide stage.”

Phil Lempert, a contributing editor at SN, is the executive producer and master of ceremony for the Showdown.

“Supermarket chefs feed millions of Americans daily, but receive little recognition,” he said. “This Showdown gives them the opportunity to further explore their culinary talents.”

Read more: FMI Returns to Chicago in 2014

Prizes will include an all-expense paid trip for two to Mardi Gras 2015; an all-expense paid trip to California to participate in the olive harvest; a “Chicago experience;” and cash and other prizes. The top 25 finalists will also receive culinary gifts from Showdown sponsors shipped directly to their homes. Official contest rules, including lists of all eligible ingredients are available online at

In addition to the Supermarket Chef Showdown, entrants can join the Supermarket Chef Culinary Community that will provide webinars, special events, custom-developed tips and tools designed to help supermarket chefs stay in front of the latest foodservice trends. A Chef’s Chat Discussion forum will connect members and facilitate networking. Membership is free and also will include a quarterly newsletter.

Sponsors for the next Showdown include: McCormick, Campbell’s Soup, Can Manufacturers Institute, ConAgra Foods, Hass Avocado Board, Hershey’s, Hillshire Brands, Mondelez International, Musco Family Olive Co., Pictsweet and Smucker’s. In addition to SN, Celebrity Chef Magazine is also a media sponsor.

Read more: FMI Connect Information, Contacts

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