Chef Lauren Yeagle of Mustang Alley’s knows her Pickled Onion Rings is one of the best appetizers in Baltimore, but now she has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take her recipe national and win $20,000 in cash and prizes.
Chef Yeagle is one of 54 finalists in the Next Top Product contest launched by US Foods to find America’s next hot food trend. To move on to the next round of judging, a head-to-head cook off at the World Food Championships in Las Vegas, her recipe will need to be a top eight vote getter on the US Foods website (USfoods.com/NTP) and she’ll need the support of the Baltimore community to move on.
54 chefs from across the country begin vying for a spot in the final round of the 2nd Annual US Foods Next Top Product contest. From savory sauces to flaky pastries, recipes poured into US Foods from across the country and now the public must vote to decide which dish will move on to the final round of competition. Voting is open through September 20 at www.usfoods.com/NTP.
“The creativity and enthusiasm we’ve seen in this year’s Next Top Product contest is nothing short of phenomenal,” said Marshall Warkentin, vice president of marketing at US Foods. “We’re always looking to bring restaurant operators products that inspire them in the kitchen and this contest gives us the unique opportunity to collaborate directly with those on the frontlines of food, challenge their creativity and ultimately create the next great, chef-inspired product from US Foods.”
After receiving more than 1,000 submissions in the categories of bakery, hot appetizer or sauce, a team of culinary experts from US Foods evaluated each recipe for creativity, consumer appeal, sales opportunity and the ability to commercially produce the product. The submissions were narrowed down to 54 recipes, with one recipe representing each of the participating US Foods locations. Online users can now view all 54 semifinalists and vote for their favorite on the US Foods website.
The eight competitors with the most votes at the end of the online voting period will face off in a head-to-head cook-off at the World Food Championships in Las Vegas on November 8. The winner will walk away with $20,000 in cash and prizes and their recipe will be turned into a US Foods product, distributed nationally as part of the company’s new product launch in 2014.
The winner of the first Next Top Product contest, Chef Sean Frye of Shuck-N-Jive Restaurant in Richardson, Texas, won the judges over with his savory jumbo shrimp and lump crab hushpuppies. His recipe debuted in the US Foods spring 2013 product line and has proven to be popular with US Foods customers.