Celebrity chef Curtis Aikens will emcee the National Grocers Association’s (NGA) Creative Choice Awards program March 10 during the 2024 NGA Show in Las Vegas.
The annual competition, presented by Kellanova and Unilever, honors the best marketing and merchandising programs in the grocery industry. Award winners gain respect throughout the industry via their national recognition.
As part of “Snack and See: Unwrap Innovative Insights from the 2024 NGA Creative Choice Award Winners,” Aikens will present awards and lead panel discussions with the recipients.
“Chef Curtis brings an excitement and enthusiasm for food and healthy eating that will translate well for the NGA Creative Choice Awards, which recognize independent grocers for, among other things, their ability to engage with consumers in a meaningful way,” said Laura Strange, chief communications and engagement officer and SVP.
As one of the original celebrity chefs, Aikens has educated and entertained food lovers since 1988.
A Food Network pioneer and a regular cast member of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Aikens dispenses food-related advice and recipes, as well as advocating for literacy and leading the charge against diabetes.
A native of Georgia, Aikens worked at an A&P supermarket during high school. After attending Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he relocated to California, worked at a grocery store in the San Francisco Bay Area and opened his first produce company, Peaches.
Following that, Aikens moved to New York to head produce departments for Dom’s Wholesale Market and Balducci’s, responsible for such clients as the United Nations Cafeteria, the Plaza Hotel and the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament.
In 1988, Aikens returned to Georgia to launch Aiken’s Family Produce Inc., a wholesale and retail supplier of produce for clients ranging from school districts to the TV series “In the Heat of the Night” and the feature film “Glory.”
Aikens has been with the Food Network since its inception, hosting shows such as “Pick of the Day,” “From My Garden,” “Meals Without Meat” and “Food in a Flash.”
Read more association news from The Shelby Report.