After combing through hundreds of submissions, conducting a nationwide People’s Choice online vote and hosting three high-stakes cook-off events in San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago, Safeway is bringing the “Search for Our Next Chef” Competition to an exhilarating close. The three finalists will have one last chance to showcase their skills at the final cook-off event May 16 at the Safeway Culinary Kitchens in Pleasanton, Calif., where they will present their skillet meal recipe to an experienced judging panel consisting of Safeway executives along with Executive Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli, who appears on Food Network’s “Chopped” and “Iron Chef.” The three candidates, Chanda Clark (Compton, Calif.), Mary Keelan-Williams (Peoria, Ariz.) and Dave Histed (Chicago, Ill.), have already impressed the Safeway judges with their original skillet meal recipes, but it all comes down to this final cooking challenge.
“This entire competition has been thrilling, but with the final cook-off just weeks away, the excitement is really building,” said Mike Minasi, president of marketing at Safeway. “Not only do our finalists have impressive culinary skills, they all share Safeway’s passion in bringing affordable, delicious and healthier foods to our shoppers.”
Recipe for success
On May 16, one chef will be welcomed onto the Safeway Culinary Kitchens team and be granted a unique opportunity to have his or her winning dish sold in Safeway stores as an Open Nature(TM) Skillet Meal. The judging team is looking for a well-rounded chef who demonstrates a passion for food using fresh and healthy ingredients in his or her recipe.
“We set high standards for our products and are equally committed to identifying the best talent to bring quality foods to our shoppers,” said Joe Ennen, SVP of consumer brands at Safeway. “With the final cook-off event just around the corner, we are looking forward to rewarding one chef not simply for the distinction of winning this three-month long competition, but with the opportunity to join a top-notch team and bring their recipe to millions of Safeway shoppers.”