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General Mills Foodservice Awards $100,000 to Independent Restaurants
Ohio Ag Connection - 02/18/2021

General Mills Foodservice announced the winners in its 2020 Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest, an annual contest that celebrates independent restaurants and food trucks, their one-of-a-kind dishes and the vital role they play in our communities. The 20 winners, which include family and neighborhood restaurants, food trucks and caterers from across the country, will each receive $5,000 in cash, marketing support and the chance to be named the "People's Choice" Grand Prize Winner for an additional $5,000 donation for a local food bank charity.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, General Mills doubled the number of winners, from 10 to 20, for this year's recipe contest to give more restaurants and food truck operators the opportunity to win much-needed cash as well as paid advertising and other marketing tools to promote their business. Entrants were asked to upload a photo of their recipe using at least one ingredient from General Mills Foodservice's participating brands and share how they used the product in a creative way or how their dish brings comfort and joy to their patrons during this challenging time.

"This past year has made it even more apparent the special place that independent eateries hold in the heart of their communities, exemplifying the spirit behind the Neighborhood to Nation Contest," said Kelley Walhof, brand experience assistant manager for General Mills Foodservice, which partners with restaurants to provide back-of-house products, recipe inspiration and culinary support. "We are excited to announce this year's winners, whose creativity and tenacity shine through with these 20 distinctive menu items."

Walhof adds that the 2020 contest winners (see below) were surprised with the news of their win during Zoom calls with General Mills representatives during the past two weeks. Each of the 20 winners received a "celebration box" featuring a personalized sign and pennant to hang on their wall, a yard sign, an oversized check and a variety of fun marketing materials to promote their win among their customers, staff and community.

2020 Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest Winners are:

- Black Magnolia Southern Patisserie, Venee Pawlowski, Greensboro, N.C., with the recipe Bourbon Banoffee Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

- Madigan's Pub & Grille, Chris Nelson, Maple Lake, Minn., with the recipe Ragin' Cajun Pizza

- Brown Butter and Southern Kitchen Bar, Dayne Womax, New Orleans, La., with the recipe Nashville Hot Chicken & Waffle

- My Favorite Things Food Truck, Lea Ann Macrery, Jeffersonville, Vt., with the recipe Caramel Topped Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie

- Corner Cafe, Stephanie Cook, Orange, Mass., with th recipe Maple Brownie Cakes with Candied Bacon

- Nutcracker Family Restaurant, Nancy Butcher, Pataskala, Ohio, with the recipe King of Rock & Roll Ice Cream Cake

- Coyote Moon Grille, Adam Meyer, St. Cloud, Minn., with therecipe Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich w Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

- Southerleigh Fine Food and Brew, Aaron Juvera, San Antonio, Texas, with the recipe Fried Pork Cheddar Sammie with Apple Caramel

- Daisy's Lunchbox Cafe & Bakery, Suzanne Raiford, Searcy, Ark., with the recipe Peach Praline Galettes

- Southerleigh Haute South, JC Rodriguez, San Antonio, Texas, with the recipe Jalapeno Cheddar Holes with Charred Sweet Scallion Butter

- Danutella's Corner, Danuta Rybak, Rego Park, N.Y., with the recipe Mushroom Latke Burger

- Sugar Rush Baking Company LLC, Natasha Huhn, Summit, Miss., with the recipe Berry Chantilly Napoleons

- Elite Sweets by Nicole, Nicole Amey, Tatamy, Pa., with the recipe Mulled Cider Muffins

- The Little Farmer LLC, Jill Daleiden, Malone, Wis., with the recipe Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

- Huya Craft Coffee, Kily LaGarde, Youngsville, La., with the recipe Boudin Pastry Tarts

- Union Straw, Dan Lane, Waltham, Mass., with the recipe Honey Hot Buttermilk Biscuit Slider

- Jennings & Co., Peter Jennings, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., with the recipe Slip "Sliders" Away

- Upper West, Nick Shipp, Santa Monica, Calif., with the recipe Slow & Low Braised Pork Curried Crepes with Mango Salsa

- Jetties Bagels, George Blanchette, Ipswich, Mass., with the recipe Mulled Apple Cider Bagels

- Victoria's Sugar Shack, Victoria Poe, Kingman, Ariz., with the recipe Sugar Shack's Coffee Cake

Recipe winners now have opportunity to engage their customers and community to help them win an additional $5,000 for a local food bank when the contest opens up a social media voting element on General Mills Convenience and Foodservice's Facebook page, Feb. 22-26. During this time, members of the public can cast a vote for their favorite or hometown recipe by "liking" and "commenting" on a photo of one of the 20 winning recipes. The recipe with the most "comments" will be named the "People's Choice" Grand Prize Winner and announced via Facebook Live at noon (CST) on March 1.

"We know that restaurants are the first to step up to help when their community is in need," said Walhof. "With the growing hunger crisis that has only been exacerbated by COVID-19, we look forward to donating $5,000 to a local food bank on behalf of our Grand Prize Winner."

In addition to a $5,000 cash prize for themselves and securing $5,000 for a local food bank, the People's Choice Grand Prize winner will receive a VIP marketing package that includes a one-on-one culinary consultation with the chefs from General Mills Foodservice as well as additional marketing support to help them promote their business.

Recipes for the Neighborhood to Nation Recipes Contest were judged based on taste, appearance, creativity and foodservice viability. The contest was created to inspire culinary creativity among independent restaurants and food trucks, giving operators an opportunity to experiment with high-quality and consistent products from General Mills Foodservice as well as access to trend information, insights and ideas to help them differentiate their menus and delight their diners. For more information on the contest, please visit

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