Blueberry Council set the stage for trendsetting restaurateurs to compete
Santa Monica, Calif., March 17, 2015 – Continuing its mission of encouraging consumers to make simple, realistic lifestyle changes in pursuit of better health, the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council hosted the Little Changes Kitchen Challenge, a competition for notable Los Angeles chefs and food bloggers, on March 16 in Santa Monica.
The trendsetting chefs worked to see whose creative dish featuring blueberries would win the hearts of a panel of media judges. Each chef teamed with a local food-loving blogger to create two dishes: one elaborate restaurant-style plate and a variation of the same dish that is easily replicable for home cooks.
Chef Andrew Hunter of the Lifetime competition series “Supermarket Superstar” emceed the event. Actress, author and TV host Alison Sweeney also participated, furthering her advocacy for using blueberries to effectively make healthier choices.
Sweeney assisted Josie Le Balch of Josie Restaurant in the savory category. The team competed against Daniel Mattern, formerly of Cook’s County, who was assisted by blogger Stacey Sun of DineLA. On the sweet side of the kitchen, Roxana Jullapat, formerly of Cook’s County, worked with Lynn Chen of the Actor’s Diet blog to compete against Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections and Chrystal Baker of Duo Dishes.
Savory winner Josie Le Balch created Blueberry Barbecue Glazed Short Rib with Garnish Salad. She used frozen and fresh blueberries to create a sweet barbecue sauce. Judges noted the creative use of short rib as a protein to create unconventional, savory blueberry flavors.
Roxana Jullapat won in the sweet category by using fresh blueberries to create a homemade blueberry ice cream and sandwiched it between freshly made blueberry meringue cookies. It was all topped off with sweet blueberry compote.
The Little Changes Kitchen Challenge came about as a result of the Blueberry Council’s campaign to encourage people to make small, but sustainable lifestyle changes throughout 2015 rather than limiting themselves to lofty New Year’s resolutions. Sweeney has joined the Council in challenging Americans to curb the trend of failed resolutions and adopt a more positive, practicable mentality.
Consumers can take inspiration from the participating chefs by visiting the Blueberry Council’s website and social media platforms for recipes and tips to try at home.
About the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council is an agriculture promotion group, representing blueberry growers and packers in North and South America who market their blueberries in the United States, and works to promote the growth and well-being of the entire blueberry industry. The blueberry industry is committed to providing blueberries that are grown, harvested, packed and shipped in clean, safe environments. Learn more about blueberries at www.littlebluedynamos.com or www.facebook.com/littlebluedynamos.