Jan 05, 2017 • By

PODCAST: Amanda Freitag

We all have a favorite restaurant with its signature dish that never ceases to excite our taste buds. For some it’s at a fancy restaurant in a big city, for others it’s at a cozy corner café in a small town.

There’s a talented chef behind every great plate that we enjoy when dining out.

They’re usually behind the scenes, back in the kitchen, but the General Mills Foodservice team is putting independent chefs back in the spotlight.Neighborhood-To-Nation-2017

In its third year, our Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest gives independent restaurant owners a chance to get national recognition for their unique dishes, plus a shot at $50,000 and the opportunity to meet celebrity chef Amanda Freitag.


While Freitag is a successful cookbook author and food television personality now, she started small, working at a large banquet hall at the age of 15.

In the January episode of our “A Taste of General Mills” podcast, Freitag told us she understands the struggles of working in and running a busy restaurant, which is why she says it’s important to celebrate chefs and their one-of-a-kind culinary creations.


Beylka Krupp, left, with chef Amanda Freitag, middle, and Danielle Benson of General Mills, right, during the 2015 grand prize check ceremony.

It’s this appreciation for chefs, at all stages of their careers, that has Freitag returning to judge and host our Neighborhood to Nation contest.

“I am so excited to return as the host of the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest and celebrate independent restaurants, which are truly the heart and soul of their community,” says Freitag. “It is always inspiring to see the amazing dishes created using General Mills ingredients, and I look forward to sampling the winning dishes and meeting the 2017 winners in Minneapolis in June.”


Freitag with the 2016 Neighborhood to Nation finalists.

In our podcast,  you’ll hear more from Freitag, The Chef Next Door. She talks about her humble beginnings in the food industry, the importance of celebrating independent restaurant owners and why she’s coming back to host the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest.

Among other things, you’ll learn:

-Challenges facing independent restaurant owners

-What makes the 2017 Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest unique

-Why Freitag encourages independent restaurant owners and chefs to enter contests that celebrate their talents

It’s easy to listen to our show when you’re on the go. Just listen on any podcast app on your mobile device (search for A Taste of General Mills) or through  iTunes or right here on our blog.

Listen (25 minutes)

SHOW NOTES – Episode 17: January 5, 2017

Link: 2017 Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest

Link: AmandaFreitag.com

Link: 2015 Neighborhood to Nation results

Link: 2016 Neighborhood to Nation winning recipe

Video: What made this 2016 recipe grand prize worthy

From January 5 to February 28, 2017, foodservice operators, chef and line cooks who develop or prepare recipes for menu items served to paying guests at independent, commercial restaurants may submit their favorite original breakfast, entrée or dessert recipes. They must use at least one ingredient from General Mills Foodservice’s participating brands. Official rules are available at NeighborhoodtoNation.com.

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