Jennifer Shearer, co-owner of the PRESS Bistro in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, presented a $10,000 check to The Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership today during a celebratory event to honor Shearer as the Grand Prize Winner in the 2017 Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest. The event took place at PRESS Bistro and included celebrity chef Amanda Freitag of Food Network’s “Chopped,” representatives from General Mills and many members of the local community.
The charitable donation is part of Shearer’s grand prize winnings in the 3rd annual recipe contest from General Mills Foodservice, which celebrates independent family or “neighborhood” restaurants, their one-of-a-kind dishes that reflect the local flavor and the integral role restaurant owners play within their community. Shearer’s recipe for Strawberry Cornbread Panzanella took the top prize and earned her $40,000 cash plus $10,000 to share with a charity in her own community.
“This contest showcases the amazing dishes that independent restaurants like PRESS Bistro serve up each day and the strong connection they have within their community,” says Alyca Judge, senior marketing manager for General Mills Foodservice, which supplies restaurants with high quality products to help make the signature dishes and familiar favorites their customers love. “General Mills is thrilled to celebrate Jennifer’s award-winning recipe and spread the excitement in her local community with a charitable donation to The Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership.”
The Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership is a non-profit organization focused on making Downtown Johnstown a more inviting place to welcome and attract customers, businesses, residents and investors. For more than 20 years, the organization has planned events and initiatives that entice more people to the downtown area, such as erecting a 40-foot animated Christmas tree during the holiday season or showing family-friendly films in the town’s Central Park during the summer.
“The Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership is a critical part of revitalizing our downtown area, and I feel that donating this money will continue to help our downtown community prosper and grow,” says Shearer. “I am so thankful to General Mills and the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest for giving me the opportunity to share this donation with an organization that is making such a positive impact in the Johnstown community.”
Melissa Radovanic, president of the Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership adds, “We are proud of Jennifer for her accomplishment and are very humbled by the gesture of this donation to the Partnership. We work every day so that our community and visitors will shop, dine, and explore the Downtown area and this money will help us continue that mission.”
To qualify for the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest, restaurants from around the country submitted an original breakfast, entrée or dessert recipe using at least one ingredient from General Mills’ list of eligible products. The contest was open to foodservice operators, chefs and line cooks who develop and prepare recipes for menu items served at independent, commercial restaurants. Recipes were judged based on taste, appearance, creativity and foodservice viability.
Shearer and two other finalists traveled to General Mills’ headquarters in Minneapolis in June where they were treated to a day of celebration, inspiration and fun. Celebrity Chef Amanda Freitag was onsite to meet with the finalists and announce the official Grand Prize Winner.
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