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Del Monte's 'Find Your Inner Chef' competition

delvidMIAMI — Kara Adanalian of Fresno, CA, took top honors in the Del Monte Fresh "Find Your Inner Chef" competition, besting runner-up Karen Gulkin of Greeley, CO, in a cook off held at the Miami Culinary Institute, here.

"The cook off event was as exciting to witness as it was to judge the entire span of the contest from launch to today's cooking competition," said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing, North America, for Del Monte Fresh, based in Coral Gables, FL. "We're amazed at each finalist's culinary skills and at their creativity in using specific ingredients such as our Del Monte fresh fruits and vegetables during this intense competition."

Christou told The Produce News that the goal of the contest was to try to get fresh fruits and vegetables more integrated into everyday life.

"Consumers want ideas about how to use fresh fruits and vegetables, so we thought this would be a great idea to introduce people who regularly use them," he said. "At Del Monte, we are trying to become more relevant to consumers, and this contest was a way to do that, and it was extremely successful. We hope to build on this in the future."