Last Updated on August 9, 2023 by Ellen Christian
I was asked to cover the NatureSweet Glorys Homegrown Tomato & Chef’s Challenge on my blog as a VIP. I received a gift to thank me for my time but the event was open to the public. The NatureSweet Glorys Homegrown Tomato & Chef’s Challenge was held at Price Chopper in South Burlington, Vermont.
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NatureSweet Glorys Homegrown Tomato & Chef’s Challenge
NatureSweet and various grocery stores got together in an effort to support the farm-to-table initiative and also allow a local amateur chef to showcase an original recipe. Events were held in Vermont, Indiana, Illinois and Colorado with each location having a winner and runners up. The challenge consisted of both a tomato challenge where individual tomatoes were judged and the chef’s challenge where the recipes were judged. Prizes were given in both categories.
I love that this event combined both recipes and tomato growing. There was a Growing for Glorys information station set up by the State of Vermont Master Gardener’s program that offered helpful information on gardening and interactive events for the children.
One fun characteristic of the chef’s challenge is that the chefs did not know what recipe they were going to prepare or what ingredients they would have available. Of course, they all knew that NatureSweet Glorys tomatoes would feature prominently in the recipe they created but other than that, they had no information. When the challenge began, the chef’s were shown the available ingredients and then had an hour to create a recipe of their choosing to be judged by a panel of judges.
When I arrived, I was shown to the VIP seating area where I had a front seat view of where the chefs would be creating their recipe. We were given samples of a delicious mango salsa as we waited for the competition to begin. It was SO hard to wait and smell all of those delicious dishes being cooked. I love knowing that all of the leftover food after the competition would be donated to local area food shelves.
Once the dishes were all prepared, the panel of judges sampled each to choose the winners. After that, they had the chance to try fresh garden tomatoes in the large, medium and small categories to choose winners for that challenge.
Mark Dickinson of South Burlington won the $2,000 grand prize in the Glorys™ Tomatoes Chef’s Challenge after impressing the judges with his Gloryous Grilled Chicken with Sautéed Vegetables masterpiece.
Karen Claxton of Winooski won the $2,000 grand prize in the small tomato growing skill category with her Ground Cherry variety of tomatoes; June Jones of Williston won the $2,000 grand prize in the medium tomato growing skill category with her Magic Mountain variety of tomatoes, and Mark McCormick of Williston won the $2,000 grand prize in the large tomato growing skill category with his unknown variety of tomatoes.
All of the grand prize winners faced stiff competition from the following runners-up, who each received a $200 Price Chopper gift card:
Glorys Tomatoes Chef’s Challenge
Runner-up: Elaine Pickett with her Pomodoro Mia Mai.
Runner-up: Anne Nadel-Walbridge with her Chicken and Shrimp Tortellini with Summer Vegetables.
Tomato Growing Skill Challenge
Small Tomato Runner-up: Lee Boisuret with his Sweet Million variety.
Small Tomato Runner-up: Anna Crawley with her Super 100 variety.
Medium Tomato Runner-up: Bob Lavalette with his Cocktail variety.
Medium Tomato Runner-up: Lisa Evans with her unknown variety.
Large Tomato Runner-up: Tatyana Papoli with her Brandywine variety.
Large Tomato Runner-up: Linda Fleury with her Pol Big variety.
Ellen is a busy mom of a 24-year-old son and 29-year-old daughter. She owns six blogs and is addicted to social media. She believes that it doesn’t have to be difficult to lead a healthy life. She shares simple healthy living tips to show busy women how to lead fulfilling lives. If you’d like to work together, email email@example.com to chat.