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CHICAGO -- The votes are in and counted, and IGA yesterday named the winners of its 2005 National Hometown Holidays Recipe Challenge. A panel of culinary chefs from the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago's Culinary Arts program chose the seven finalists' recipes, which were culled from more than 500 original submissions from shoppers to IGA stores across the United States during the annual marketing event, held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 13 last year.
Recipe entries had to contain at least two products from such Hometown Holidays promotional sponsors as Anheuser-Busch, Inc., the Coca-Cola Co., Campbell Soup Co., Kraft Foods North America, Minute Maid Juices, Morton Salt, Nestlé USA, and the J.M. Smucker Co.
The grand prize winner of a five-day/four-night cruise for two to the Western Caribbean, including round trip airfare, was Victoria Johnson, a customer at El Rancho Market IGA in Chandler, Ariz., for her Cream of Potato, Amber Bock, and Parsley Soup with Pan-Seared Scallops
Other prizes were as follows:
--First-place winner of $500: Jimmy L. Easterling, Susanville Supermarket IGA, Susanville, Calif., for his Jimmy's Flaming Filet Mignons
--Second-place winner of $250: Marilyn Blankschien, Black Creek IGA, Black Creek, Wis., for her Caramel Pecan Apple Tassies
Judges evaluated the recipes on three criteria: taste, creativity, and the ability to reproduce the dish based on recipe directions.
In other IGA news, the global supermarket network said that the third annual Hometown Proud marketing event is being held in participating IGA stores across the country from April 25 to May 8. The event promotes the necessity of fire safety education, while honoring firefighters. Red Oval Family partners the Coca-Cola Co., Campbell Soup Co., ConAgra Foods, Kraft Foods, and Nestlé Purina PetCare Co. are serving as sponsors.
A major feature of the event is the Hometown Proud 2005 essay contest, which requires participants to answer the question "How Does Your Hometown Proud Family Contribute to Community Fire Safety?" in 200 words or fewer. A panel of experts chosen by IGA will judge the essays.
The grand prize, to be awarded to seven winners, will be all-expenses-paid trips for two to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn., as well as $500 checks to be donated to their local fire departments.
The IGA alliance includes more than 4,000 Hometown Proud supermarkets around the world, supported by 36 distribution companies and more than 55 major manufacturers, vendors, and suppliers encompassing everything from grocery to equipment items.