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The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) today announced the launch of an inaugural foodservice competition challenging professional chefs to create innovative “to-go” dishes using California dairy products. The “CADairy2Go” competition is inspired by chefs and foodservice operators who made quick, creative pivots to adjust their menus for the takeout and delivery model during the disruption caused by the pandemic.

The Real California Milk Foodservice Team hand-selected twelve culinary professionals to participate in the first-of-its-kind event, representing a variety of foodservice backgrounds, including experience in major restaurant chains, broadline distributors, independent restaurants, ghost kitchens and food trucks.

Each chef will submit one dish in either the Cal-Mex or Cheese+Mac category, as well as a second dish under Innovate-To-Go, which allows for creativity beyond their assigned category. All dishes must be optimized for the takeout or “to-go” experience and incorporate sustainability sourced California cheese and other dairy ingredients.

The 2021 CADairy2Go participants are:

Carrie Baird – Rose’s Classic Americana - Boulder, CO

Victoria Elizondo –Cocina Local - Houston, TX

Gina Galvan – Mood for Food - San Juan Capistrano, CA

Gina Genschlea – Revolution Winery & Kitchen - Sacramento, CA

Nelson German – alaMar Kitchen & Bar, Sobre Mesa - Oakland, CA

Heidi Gibson – The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen - San Francisco, CA

Marti Lieberman – Mac Mart - Philadelphia, PA

Brian Mullins – Ms. Cheezious® - Miami, FL

Tamra Scroggins – Grill Concepts - Los Angeles, CA

Alex Sadowsky – Twin Peaks - Dallas, TX

Manish Tyagi – August 1 Five - San Francisco, CA

Mary Grace Viado – Village Tavern - Birmingham, AL

Participating chefs will win cash prizes from $500 to $5,000. Two finalists from each category will earn a trip to Napa, where they will compete in a live cook-off event July 28th at the Culinary Institute of America’s Copia location. The final cook-off will be captured in a live broadcast that will be streamed in celebration of the chefs and their creations. Additional details on the competition and the chef competitors is available at CADairy2Go.

“The past year has challenged chefs to be strategic in creating dishes that are not only comforting but can also hold up for an off-premise dining experience. This competition leverages the off-premise dining trends that emerged during this time and celebrates chefs who worked to respond quickly to consumer needs,” said Nancy Campbell, Business Development consultant for CMAB Foodservice. “Dairy is an essential ingredient for bringing to-go menu innovations to life and provides the flavor and flexibility to any style of cooking – from plant-forward to comfort and everything in between.”

As the nation’s largest dairy state, California boasts a long list of cheesemakers and dairy processors, that are further driving to-go dining innovation California leads the nation in milk production and is responsible for producing more butter, ice cream and nonfat dry milk than any other state. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese and yogurt. California milk and dairy foods can be identified by the Real California Milk seal, which certifies they are made exclusively with sustainably sourced milk from the state’s dairy farm families.

California is a reliable, consistent source of sustainable dairy products used by chefs throughout the world. Check out our REAL Makers chefs who rely on California dairy for their dishes.