Two teams of student chefs from The Culinary Institute of America are one step closer to Super Bowl glory.
PepsiCo announced the finalists of "Game Day Grub Match," a competition in search of the next great Super Bowl party dish. Each team will now compete in Arizona, the site of Super Bowl XLIX, to determine who will be named champion.
The winner will be crowned on Saturday, Jan. 31 at Taste of the NFL's annual Party with a Purpose. The winning team will earn tickets to Super Bowl XLIX and receive $5,000 in scholarship money.
Each team incorporated PepsiCo food and beverage products as ingredients to create unique Super Bowl dishes. The finalists are:
Matthew F. Johnson from Duluth, Minnesota and Cullen Folks from Atlanta created Tostitos Chipotle Chicken Tacos. The dish is served in a grilled flour tortilla with Tostitos Salsa and Pepsi-marinated chicken and sides of a Sabra Guacamole-based salsa verde and Sierra Mist red cabbage slaw.
Marie Taccino from Dallas and Olivia DeSalvo from Broomall, Pennsylvania, created Naked Chia Cherry Lime Pork Sliders topped with Pepsi-candied bacon. The dish is served on a homemade Quaker Oats and Fritos biscuit with a side of Muller Tropicana Slaw.
"They challenged themselves and used our brands in innovative ways to create great flavors that would be a hit at any Super Bowl party," says PepsiCo corporate executive research Chef Stephen Kalil.
The first round of Game Day Grub Match took place at The Culinary Institute of America's Hyde Park, NY campus, where four student teams were given access to a variety of products from PepsiCo's food and beverage portfolio. They were challenged to incorporate at least three PepsiCo products into a Super Bowl inspired recipe.
Food Network star and CIA alum Anne Burrell '96 hosted the culinary competition. The dishes were evaluated by a judging panel comprised of New York Jets' Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold, James Beard Award winner and CIA alum David Burke '82, the CIA’s senior director of food and beverage operations Waldy Malouf '75, and PepsiCo's Kalil.
As finalists, the student teams will sample their culinary creations at various events during Super Bowl week. The two dishes will be tasted and voted on by a group of professional chefs and NFL athletes participating in this year's Taste of the NFL Party with a Purpose, an annual event supporting food banks throughout the U.S.
Anne Burrell will announce the winning team during Party with a Purpose, and the PepsiCo Foundation will also make a $50,000 donation to Taste of the NFL to support food banks across the country.