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    Four Stop & Shop Customers Finalists in Pillsbury Bake-Off

    The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. recognized its local customers who were named finalists in the 43rd Pillsbury Bake-Off, held April 14th in Dallas. One of the finalists, Niki Plourde of Gardner, Mass., went on to become the category winner in Pizza Creations for her entry.

    The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. recognized its local customers who were named finalists in the 43rd Pillsbury Bake-Off, held April 14th in Dallas. One of the finalists, Niki Plourde of Gardner, Mass., went on to become the category winner in Pizza Creations for her entry.

    We congratulate our customers who through their creativity and love of baking and cooking found themselves competing against some of the nations best earlier this month in Dallas, said Stop & Shop president and c.e.o. Jos Alvarez. We salute their competitive spirit, their commitment to excellence, and their sense of great taste. We are especially pleased that in preparation for their entrance into this prestigious national competition, these contestants were able to find their ingredients on Stop & Shops shelves.

    The finalists were:
    - Jasmine Buliga, Braintree, Mass., a Braintree Stop & Shop customer, entered a recipe for Tropical Crab Rangoon appetizers.
    - Pizza Creations category winner Niki Plourde, Gardner, Mass., shops in the retailers Gardner store and entered a recipe for Apple-Jack Chicken Pizza with Caramelized Onions.
    - Valerie Schucht, Glastonbury, Ct., a customer of Stop & Shops Glastonbury store, entered a recipe for Mexican Chocolate Crunch Brownies.
    - Kerstin Sinkevicius, Somerville, Mass., a shopper at Stop & Shops Somerville store, entered a recipe for Caramel Chai Bars.

    The four local finalists were not the only Stop & Shop-related participants in the competition. Stop & Shop consumer advocate Andrea Astrachan was one of nine finalist food expert judges who worked in secrecy to evaluate the entries based upon taste, appearance, creativity, and consumer appeal.

    According to Astrachan, the recipes reflected the way America cooks today. "The trends I saw in the final 100 recipes were a use of high-quality convenience foods as ingredients and relatively short preparation times, which certainly reflects the demands and time constraints of shoppers and the need and desire to prepare great recipes in a short time frame," she said. "This certainly lends to the consumer appeal of the Pillsbury Bakeoff recipes, as the cook in the family can feel confident in making and serving these dishes to the family."

    The grand prize winner was Carolyn Gurtz of Gaithersburg, Md., for her Double-Delight Peanut Butter Cookies entry.

    The competitions finalists were 92 women and eight men, ranging in age from 27 to 72 and representing 35 states. Each won a trip to the contest finals, including airfare, a two-night stay at The Fairmont Dallas, Texas, daily event-sponsored meals, a GE microwave with enhanced cooking performance and $100. On April 14, the 100 finalists simultaneously prepared their recipes for judges at 100 GE mini-kitchens set up in The Fairmont Regency ballroom. The contest judges consisted of a panel of nine food experts.

    The 100 recipes were chosen from among consumers' best original entries in five recipe categories: Breakfast and Brunches, Pizza Creations, Entertaining Appetizers, Old El Paso Mexican Favorites, and Sweet Treats.

    Stop & Shop, based in Quincy, Mass., operates 376 stores and employs more than 59,000 associates. 

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