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Chef Rachael Perron, Kowalski's Markets, Named FMI Supermarket Chef Showdown Champion

June 11, 2014

Foodland Super Market, Hy-Vee, Inc., Orchard Fresh, FRESH by Brookshire's Grocery among Category Winners

June 11, 2014 – Chicago, IL –
Food Marketing Institute (FMI) announced five category winners and one grand champion in the Supermarket Chef Showdown, the food retail industry’s unique competition for culinary talent. Chef Rachael Perron, Kowalski's Markets, was named Grand Champion of the 2014 Supermarket Chef Showdown for her Greek Grain Salad with Dilled Feta Dressing.

Twenty four chefs competed across five categories in front of a live audience on the exhibit floor of FMI Connect, the new, annual FMI Show held in Chicago. The Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert acted as producer and emcee for the event. The chefs’ culinary creativity was tested as they created meals in less than 20 minutes featuring products from Supermarket Chef Showdown sponsors, including McCormick’s and Cans Get You Cooking.

"What I love about the Supermarket Chef Showdown is that these talented chefs are finally getting some credit for preparing the wide variety of delicious food that feeds millions of Americans every day," said Janet McCracken, Supermarket Chef Showdown judge and test kitchen director for Everyday with Rachael Ray. "It’s giving a face to the men and women behind everything from that delicious rotisserie chicken that I personally rely on heavily for weeknight meals, to the wonderful salads, vegetable side dishes and desserts."

The 24 finalists were selected from a record 130 entries from 30 different retailers.

"While the competition is fun, the real joy of this event is the chance to spotlight the spice that supermarket chefs bring to food retail," FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin said. "As we all know, food is the great connector – bringing people together – and that is true even within a cooking competition."

Sarasin continued, "This event has sparked a community of supermarket chefs over 200 members strong. Our chef community has its own website where members can interact, access resources and sign up for our quarterly newsletter."

  • Healthy Meals Category Winner: Rachael Perron, Kowalski's Markets, Greek Grain Salad with Dilled Feta Dressing
  • Family Meals Category Winner: Keoni Chang, Foodland Super Market, Korean-Style Hillshire Farm Dogs with Kimchi Slaw and Alexia Garlic Sweet Potato Fries
  • Ethnic Meals Category Winner: Andrew Kintigh, Hy-Vee, Inc., Moroccan Style Chickpea and Kale Stew with Date Gremolata
  • Side Dish/Mini Meals Category Winner: Erin Horton, Orchard Fresh, Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs
  • Desserts Category Winner: Michael Brady, FRESH by Brookshire's Grocery, Banana Beignets

View photos of the winners here.

Supermarket Chef Showdown was made possible by the following sponsors: Campbell’s Soup Company, Cans Get You Cooking , ConAgra Foods, Haas Avocado Board, The Hershey Company, Hillshire Brands, McCormick, Mondelez International, Musco Family Olive Co, Pictsweet, Supermarket News and Smucker’s.

Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI membership covers the spectrum of diverse venues where food is sold, including single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains and mixed retail stores. For more information, visit www.fmi.org and for information regarding the FMI foundation, visit www.fmifoundation.org

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