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General Mills’ Contest and Dame It

Got a recipe that’s a winner? General Mills is awarding up to $80,000 in cash and prizes for one-of-a-kind dishes that showcase local flavors and includes at least one ingredient from General Mills Foodservice’s participating brands: Pillsbury (biscuits, puff pastry and pie dough), Gold Medal (baking mixes), Yoplait (yogurt) and Mountain High (yogurt).  

Now in its fourth year, General Mills’ Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest is designed for independent family or “neighborhood” restaurants and food trucks.

Entries are being accepted from March 1 to April 30 at

Recipes will be judged on taste, appearance, creativity and foodservice viability. Five Regional Recipe Winners (representing the West, North Central, South Central, Northeast and Southeast) will be announced in August as well as the Grand Prize Recipe Winner.

Last year’s grand prize winning recipe was a Strawberry Cornbread Panzanella (pictured above) from PRESS Bistro in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Five Regional Recipe Winners will each receive $5,000 in cash and an additional $1,000 to share with a charity of their choice in their community. One of the five regional winners will also be named the Grand Prize Recipe Winner and receive an additional $25,000 in cash and $5,000 to share with a local charity as well as a three-day trip for two to the 2018 New York City Wine & Food Festival.

A rep from General Mills will travel to each of the Regional Recipe Winners’ hometowns for a check presentation/celebratory event that will take place at their restaurant in August after the winners are announced.

“Independent restaurants are the heart and soul of their communities, so we couldn’t be more delighted to host a big hometown celebration in their honor,” said Alyca Judge, senior marketing manager for General Mills Foodservice. “We look forward to bringing the national spotlight to the winners’ neighborhoods to celebrate these much-anticipated award-winning dishes.”


There’s nothing like a Dame-run fund-raiser party

Les Dames d’Escoffier is hosting its annual event Sunday, April 8, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Solar Arts by Chow Girls, 711 15th Avenue NE, third floor, Minneapolis.

Tickets are $85 and can be purchased at the door or by going to

Featured chefs are co-owners of Chowgirls, Heidi Andermack and Amy Lynn Brown; Sara Johannes, a theater major turned executive chef with seven original concepts at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport; and co-owners of Chef Shack Ranch and Chef Shack Bay City, Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer.

In addition to great food and beverages tailored just to this event, there’s a wall of wine (pick a cork and win a bottle of wine); an old-fashioned cake walk (with home-baked cakes) and a silent auction.

Proceeds go to academic culinary scholarships for women, Urban Roots of St. Paul for internships and philanthropic needs and Dame It! Dollars for micro-grants for food professionals.

For more information on both the fund raiser and the organization, go to mnlesdames.org. 

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