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Notes and comment from the Content Guy

DALLAS - The Food Marketing Institute 2012 Show came to a fitting conclusion Thursday with a celebration of food, as Keoni Chang of Honolulu’s Foodland Super Markets won the title of Grand Chef in FMI’s first-ever Supermarket Chef Showdown.

Chang’s winning creation was Deconstructed Ahi California Roll, created for the Indulgent recipe category.

The runners-up were Brian Dunn of Roche Bros. Supermarkets with Indian Five Spice Lamb; Rachael Perron of Kowalski's Markets with Spiced Orange Yogurt Parfaits; and Amber Pruett of Publix Super Markets with Italian Pie.

FMI said there were 357 recipes submitted to the contest, with 20 finalists, and four category champions, with the recipes rated for flavor, presentation, creativity, consumer appeal and showmanship.

In addition to the $1,000 category prize, Chang earned admittance to a professional development course at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA).

This event did not just offer an entertaining diversion on the show floor, but also trained the spotlight on something that, ironically, the food retail business does not focus on enough - food. It is a smart idea, because it puts the emphasis where it should be, and I hope this becomes a regular event at FMI shows. Kudos, by the way, to FMI’s Dagmar Farr, who brought enormous passion to this project ...

In other news from the show, FMI released its first “Sustainable Seafood Toolkit,” described as “a free resource providing food retail answers to the integration and implementation of seafood sustainability procurement policies and procedures ... Created by FMI’s Sustainable Seafood Committee (SSC) and funded by Bumblebee Foods, LLC, this guidance document cites industry expertise on how to approach sustainable seafood sourcing. The SSC provided helpful steps for development and implementation across data collection, procurement, education and reform. The toolkit features best practices and case studies among retailers, suppliers and non-governmental organizations.”
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