The Final cook-off event of the Third Annual Foster Farms Fresh Chicken Cooking Contest was held on Friday, September 28, 2012 at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in California’s beautiful Napa valley. Competing against five other finalists from California, Oregon and Washington, Merry Graham’s Lemon-Hoisin Glazed Chicken on Roasted Asparagus and Cherry Sesame Rice was awarded the $10,000 grand prize and a one-year supply of Foster Farms fresh chicken.
The six finalists prepared and presented their fresh chicken dishes to an esteemed panel of professional chefs and food savvy media judges comprised of John Ash, chef, cookbook author and host of KSRO-AM “The Good Food Hour”; Lynne Char Bennett, food writer and test kitchen director, San Francisco Chronicle; Ken Frank, chef and owner of Napa’s La Toque restaurant; Carolyn Jung, author of the Food Gal blog; and Liam Mayclem, host and producer of CBS 5 TV’s Eye on The Bay. Judges made decisions based on taste, use of fresh, local ingredients, appearance and appeal, simplicity and ease of making, and originality.
One week prior to the Final cook-off event 500 Foster Farms House Parties were held in California, Oregon and Washington where thousands of home chefs and their guests prepared and tasted the six finalist dishes for themselves and voted for a “People’s Choice” winner. The “People’s Choice” award was presented to Karen Bernards from McMinnville, Oregon for her Hoisin Chicken Thighs and she was awarded a one-year supply of Foster Farms fresh chicken and a $1,000 shopping spree at the Spice Islands® Marketplace, at Greystone.
As far as trend indicators, many of the recipes submitted this year were health-focused. Grains and legumes, such as quinoa, barley and lentils, were widely used to complement the fresh chicken. Many recipes also included rubs, several of which incorporated coffee or tea.
The six finalists each won $1,000 in Regional Competitions held in Portland, San Diego, Calif., and Seattle, in the weeks leading up to today’s Final Competition. Merry Graham’s winning Lemon-Hoisin Glazed Chicken on Roasted Asparagus and Cherry Sesame Rice competed with the following finalist recipes for the Grand Prize:
For all semifinalist and finalist recipes over the past three years visit our recipe box, and check back regularly for upcoming information on the 2013 contest.