May 01, 2012 • By

Supermarket chef showdown

Before she was even tall enough to see over the counter, Rachael Perron was happily working away in the kitchen. Her parents were professional bakers so she’s been around food as long as she can remember.

Now, as Culinary Director for Kowalski’s Markets in Minnesota, Perron put her skills to the test today when she competed in the Supermarket Chef Showdown at the Food Marketing Institute’s FMI2012 show in Dallas, Tex.

She joined 19 other chefs from some of our biggest grocery store partners across the U.S.

We caught up with Perron to learn more about her, and what she made in Dallas, in this video.

The FMI’s first-ever recipe contest and culinary competition started with more than 350 recipes from 50 retail and wholesale companies.

Perron competed in the showdown’s Healthy Alternatives category with her Spiced Orange Yogurt Parfait.

She researches, writes and tests recipes for Kowalski’s Markets and serves as the editor-in-chief for their in-store magazine and monthly e-newsletter. She also directs the culinary education program and hosts classes at their teaching kitchen. She says her culinary point of view is to make much-loved, time-tested regional dishes new, unique and current in every way possible.

“I love to tweak traditional favorites to create the tastiest, lightest, riches, most effortless or most stunning recipes possible,” Perron says.

Category winners in the showdown win $1,000. The overall winner will attend “CIA Boot Camp” at the Culinary Institute of America in New York.

“Honestly, it’s an honor just to be recognized,” Perron says. “It’s nice to see chefs acknowledged for their contributions beyond those in restaurants because there’s a lot of exciting culinary work in the grocery business. I’m excited about the competition and I’m especially looking forward to seeing what other chefs are making and learning from them as well.”

Good luck to Rachael, and all the chefs from supermarkets that we’re proud to partner with!

Editor’s note: Perron’s recipe won in her category so she was one of four chefs who competed for the grand prize. The top honor went to Keoni Chang of Foodland Super Markets in Honolulu. He prepared Deconstructed Ahi California Roll, in the Indulgent recipe category.