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Another new feature at this year’s show — designed as much for entertainment as for education — will be the Supermarket Chef Showdown, a cooking and recipe competition that will take place on the show floor.
Contestants will be judged by a panel emceed by Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru and SN contributing editor. Five finalists in each of four categories (ethnic, health and wellness, family meals and indulgent) will compete each afternoon on a stage, and the winner of each category will be awarded $1,000. The “Grand Chef” winner will receive a trip to a Culinary Institute of America Boot Camp Experience.
“This is going to be one of the most fun things we do at the show,” said Sarasin. “Plus it gives us an opportunity to highlight a sector of the industry that we have not really focused on in the past.”
She said interest in the event has been strong, with 147 entries from 57 different companies, including both retailers and wholesalers, one associate member and 11 who are not even members of FMI.