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Natural Foods Merchandiser

Two co-op chefs among supermarket 'Showdown' competitors

Two co-op chefs among supermarket 'Showdown' competitors

Eggs in a Jar won Kirsten Shabaz a finalist position for the FMI Supermarket Chef Showdown.

Fifteen top grocery store chefs will head to the FMI Conference in Chicago this June to compete in the Supermarket Chef Showdown. This year, two natural food stores cooked their way into this elite circle: Wild Oats Market of Williamstown, Massachusetts, and Valley Natural Foods of Burnsville, Minnesota.

The 15 finalists represent the top three chefs in five categories—Breakfast to Go, Holiday Party Platters, Ethnic Dishes, Affordable Family Meals and Desserts.

Greg Roach, executive chef and prepared foods manager at Wild Oats Market, will cook his recipe for One Pan Skillet Bronzed Chicken with Quinoa and Beer Brat Jambalaya, a finalist in the Affordable Family Meals category. Wild Oats Market is a cooperative that offers healthy, affordable food and other products that support local as well as sustainable practices.

Kirsten Shabaz, fresh foods educator at Valley Natural Foods, landed a finalist position in the Breakfast to Go category with her recipe for Eggs in a Jar. Valley Natural Foods is cooperatively owned by more than 10,000 members, with a five-pronged “FRESH” mission: family, relationships, education, sustainability and health.

FMI received nearly 300 recipes from 95 chefs across the nation. Roach, Shabaz and the other finalists will compete in a cook-off June 10 at McCormick Place. The chef with the best recipe in each category will receive a $1,000 prize. The grand champion—the best in the whole competition—will win an expense-paid trip for two to the Italian Culinary Institute in Calabria, Italy.

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