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Safeway has announced a first-of-its-kind competition in which chefs from across the nation can compete for a job with the Safeway Culinary Kitchens and have their recipe included in the Open Nature(TM) Skillet Meal line sold in stores nationwide.

According to the company, “The competition will culminate in a final cook-off at the Safeway Culinary Kitchens in Pleasanton, Calif., where chefs will cook their original, delicious and nutritious skillet meals. Executive Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli, who appears on Food Network's ‘Chopped’ and ‘Iron Chef,’ will join an experienced judging panel of Safeway chefs and executives to select the winning chef who will join the culinary team.”

Safeway will be hosting the regional cook-offs at the following three campuses: California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Seattle and Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago on April 23rd, 25th, and 27th respectively.

Safeway says that “this opportunity begins on Facebook where candidates and fans alike can follow the entire process, including the call for submissions; a national ‘People's Choice’ vote, running April 9-20; regional cook-offs during the end of April; and the final cook-off at the Safeway Culinary Kitchens on May 15. The winner will be awarded a full-time position at the Safeway Culinary Kitchens think tank, which is committed to developing best-in-class store brand foods that help shoppers find inspiration for affordable meals. And, their winning recipe will be sold as an Open Nature Skillet Meal in stores across the country.”
KC's View:
Love it.

We have the Safeway cooking competition. The FMI cooking competition coming up at its 2012 show. And I hope lots more...because food is what the industry really ought to be all about, and will, I firmly believe, be the core value upon which smart retailers will build their cultures and create a sustainable and innovative culture.