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Del Monte Fresh Produce has named Kara Adanalian of Fresno Calif., the winner of the “Find Your Inner Chef” national cook-off. Adanalian has earned the title and the grand-prize retreat for two to the Napa Valley Culinary Institute.
The online contest, which launched April 15 and culminated with the national cook-off, encouraged consumers to submit their own recipe using Del Monte fresh fruits and vegetables.
“To be the grand prize winner of the Del Monte Fresh Produce ‘Find Your Inner Chef’ contest is not only a thrill but an honor, given the level of competition, judging and event facility,” said Adanalian, whose winning recipe, Red Pepper and Avocado Stuffed Chicken Breast with a pastry gremolata and white wine reduction, received rave reviews from the judges.
Four finalists competed in a face-off/bracket challenge, with each aspiring chef preparing a dish from their social media-winning recipe. Judges based their final decision on the following criteria: creativity of the dish; taste of the dish; use of Del Monte fresh fruits or vegetables; and presentation.
The “Find Your Inner Chef” judges included chef John Richards, Miami Culinary Institute director; Jim Prevor, founder, Perishable Pundit; and Lou Sena, president of SenaReider. In addition, Elizabeth Pivonka, president and CEO of Produce for Better Health Foundation, and Libby Platus, food and travel writer, also participated as judges.
Coral Gables, Fla.-based Del Monte Fresh Produce is one of North America’s leading marketers and distributors of high-quality fresh and fresh-cut fruit and vegetables.