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Around Town: Recipe Contest and Competitions Rev Up




Last year’s national winner, a Sunshine State Orange Crunch Cake

Marking its fifth year, General Mills Foodservice’s Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest is doubling the number of winners to give more independent restaurants and food trucks the chance to win more than $200,000 in cash and prizes. The restaurant recipe contest, which is officially accepting entries until April 30, calls for original recipes that use at least one item from General Mills’ list of eligible products as a recipe ingredient. This year’s competition will honor 10 regional winners, two from each region, who will each receive $5,000 in cash and an additional $1,000 to share with a local charity of their choice. General Mills will also travel to each regional winner’s hometown to host a celebration event at their restaurant or food truck as a way to recognize them in their communities. One of the 10 regional winners will also be named the Grand Prize Recipe Winner and receive a total of $10,000 in cash and $2,000 to share with a local charity, as well as a three-day trip for two to the 2019 New York City Wine & Food Festival. 

For every eligible recipe received from March 1 to April 30, 2019, General Mills will donate $5 to No Kid Hungry, a national campaign to end childhood hunger in the United States, up to $10,000. For more information, go to www.generalmillscf.com


The entryway to Popol Vuh

The second most anticipated list of nominees to be released—OK, so we’re a little biased when we say The Charlie Awards are first—The James Beard Awards has several Twin Cities culinary luminaries on it. Popol Vuh in NE Minneapolis is up for a national Beard award in the Best New Restaurant category. Other notables up for national recognition are: Diane Moua (also a 2018 nominee) of Spoon and Stable for Outstanding Pastry Chef; Alex Robert’s Restaurant Alma in Minneapolis for Outstanding Restaurant; Brenda Langton and Timothy Kane of  Spoonriver in Minneapolis for Outstanding Restaurateurs; Bachelor Farmer for Outstanding Wine Program; and Rikki Giambruno, owner of Hyacinth in St. Paul, as Rising Star Chef of the Year. 

Chefs competing for Best Chef Midwest (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota and Wisconsin) are Minneapolis chefs Thomas Boemer, In Bloom; Steven Brown, Tilia; Daniel del Prado, Martina; Ann Kim, Young Joni; Jamie Malone, Grand Café; Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai; and Karyn Tomlinson, Corner Table. Boemer, Brown, Kim, Malone and Nguyen were nominated in 2018 as well.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields, while furthering the foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. Each award category has an individual committee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures and selection of judges for their respective awards programs. All James Beard Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. Finalists will be announced in May.


The Ment’or BKB Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2018-2019 grant program, which includes three chefs from Minnesota: Alexandra Motz of Minneapolis; Stuart Sandquist of Wayzata; and Joatta Siebert of Robbinsdale.

The grant program provides young, aspiring chefs with unique opportunities to expand their training and skills. Through this initiative, established mentors from around the country and the world’s top restaurants open their doors and provide invaluable access and training for young chefs.

Available to all young cooks in the U.S., the program awards one- to two- month grants both stateside and abroad, covering housing, transportation, salary and basic living expenses. 

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