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California Giant Berry Farms Announces Semi-Finalists for 4th Annual Chef Invitational; Tom Smith and Michael Muzyk Share

California Giant Berry Farms Announces Semi-Finalists for 4th Annual Chef Invitational; Tom Smith and Michael Muzyk Share



WATSONVILLE, CA - Drumroll please, as California Giant Berry Farms has revealed the nine semi-finalists of its fourth annual 2022 Chef Invitational. The semi-finalist chefs will have a face-off for public voting on the Chef Invitational website, all leading to the coveted People’s Choice award.

Tom Smith, Director of Sales, California Giant Berry Farms“The goal of the Chef Invitational has always been building upon existing and new relationships with key members of the foodservice and retail industries,” said Tom Smith, Director of Sales. “We also look to recognize the work of accomplished chefs that create innovative recipes every day, and with the return of in-person dining and events, we’re thrilled to provide foodservice—an industry that has suffered greatly due to the pandemic—a platform in which it can highlight its talent.”

This year, the nine semi-finalists and their recipes are:

  • Adrian Day-Murchison, Calavo – Spiced Blueberry Lamb Waffle Burger with Strawberry Feta Tzatziki
  • Christian Kearns, Sysco – Bangin’ Berry Taco
  • Derek Seigfried, Gordon Food Service – Blackberry Lamb Kofta
  • Dontre’al Haigler, Denny’s – California Giant Berry Meets the Sea
  • Jereme Nemeth, Sysco – Berry Brisket Sando
  • Marites Cotillon, Stone Brewing – Strawberry Scallop Aguachile
  • Michael Boyer, Nordstrom – Beet Berry Grain Bowl
  • Robert Stegall-Smith, Performance Foodservice – Giant Berry Pizza with Triple Berry Chipotle Sauce & Strawberry “Pepperoni”
  • Shea Zappia, Sysco – Strawberry Agave Glazed Pork Belly

Currently, the website features photography and video of the nine chef finalists’ recipes, which have been re-created by cookbook author and social media influencer Marie Reginato. According to the release, the winner of the People’s Choice award will automatically progress to the final in-person round of the competition and take home a $500 cash prize, accompanied by a matching grant to their selected non-profit organization.

California Giant Berry Farms has revealed the nine semi-finalists of its fourth annual 2022 Chef Invitational

Both the People’s Choice and four additional chef finalists will attend an in-person three-day finale event in Monterey, California, August 29–31.

This event will include field tours of California Giant berry fields, meet-and-greets with growers, and a grand finale—at which the Top Chef will be named—all emceed by Michael Muzyk, President of Baldor Foods.

Michael Muzyk, President, Baldor Specialty Foods“Culinary innovation is what drives the berry business forward, which is why I always pay special attention to what’s happening at the California Giant Berry Farms Chef Invitational,” said Michael Muzyk. “Every year, top chefs show us creative, new ways to incorporate fresh berries into amazing dishes. I’m honored to be an emcee at this event and cannot wait to see what wonderful, berry-inspired plates these chefs have come up with.”

The online voting will run now through August 5 to allow ample time for members of the trade, as well as consumers, to vote for their favorite dish and determine who will be named the People’s Choice winner. Additionally, the ultimate Top Chef winner will receive $1,000 cash prize, a matching grant to their selected non-profit organization, and will be a brand ambassador for California Giant throughout the 2022–2023 year.

Who will take the top prize? Stick around as ANUK reports.

California Giant Berry Farms



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California Giant Berry Farms

California Giant was built by the dedication of many hard-working individuals committed to one common goal; the optimal...