ARLINGTON, VA – February 2, 2012 –The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) fueled the grocery industry’s only culinary rivalry that challenges top food service professionals to square off in a battle for the elite title: The Supermarket Grand Chef. Taking place live on May 1 – 3 in Dallas at the FMI2012 Show, the Supermarket Chef Showdown aims to personify the epicureans in our neighborhood grocery stores.

"We established this program to recognize the daily culinary feats demonstrated in grocery store kitchens," Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI, said. "We know that consumers go to the grocery store nearly twice a week, so why shouldn’t they be motivated by their local deli manager in the same way that they tune into their favorite chef television personality.”

The event will judge participants across all major departments in grocery in four categories: Ethnic, Indulgent, Family Meals and Healthy Alternatives. There is no limit to number of participants per company, and any grocery store foodservice professional is welcome to submit one recipe per category. The top-five competitors in each category will compete in Dallas, but only one of the 20 will be recognized as Grand Chef.

Prizes for Supermarket Chef Showdown include:

  • Grand Prize – The Title of ‘Grand Chef’ and a professional development course at the Culinary Institute of America

  • $1,000 per winner awarded to the food professional in each category

  • Complementary attendance to FMI2012 in Dallas

  • High-profile engagement with the Supermarket Chef Showdown official sponsors

Sponsors of the event will donate product and contribute to the competitors’ flavor profiles. The event’s title sponsor, McCormick & Co, Inc. will join ingredient partners including, The Pictsweet Company, The Hershey Company, Campbell Soup Company, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., Kraft Foods, Inc., J.M. Smucker Company and ConAgra Foods, Inc.

Supermarket Guru® and FMI Supermarket Chef Showdown Emcee, Phil Lempert, said: “The showdown is all about celebration - the celebration of our fabulous supermarket food offerings; a celebration of the chefs, cooks and store staff who prepare these foods; a celebration of flavorful ingredients; and most importantly, a celebration of the unique recipes that are offered in supermarkets across the country.”

Deadline for recipe submission is March 15, 2012. Participants can visit for official rules and to submit recipes.

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Follow @FMI_ORG and use the hashtag #SupermarketChef

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