FMI Seeks Supermarket Chefs to Compete in Culinary Showdown

Aiming to showcase the talents of epicureans in neighborhood grocery stores, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) will host the industry’s first-ever competition that will challenge top foodservice professionals to square off in a battle for the elite Supermarket Grand Chef title.

Having received a ringing endorsement from Danny Wegman, CEO of Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets Inc., during FMI’s recent Midwinter Executive Conference in Orlando, the supermarket chef competition will take place during FMI’s 2012 Show in Dallas, May 1-3.

“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 up to four recipes 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, which will donate product and contribute to the competitors’ flavor profiles.

The event’s title sponsor, McCormick & Co, Inc., will join ingredient partners including, Pictsweet, The Hershey Co., Campbell Soup Co., Anheuser-Busch Cos., Inc., Kraft Foods, Inc., J.M. Smucker Co. and ConAgra Foods, Inc.

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



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