April 18, 2014
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Bi-Lo Holdings corporate chef Edynael “Eddie” Montoya is headed to a national cooking competition to square off against other retail chefs.​

Edynael Montoya believes in keeping his recipes fresh and simple, but he still finds plenty of room for creativity and innovation.

And judges from the Food Marketing Institute’s Supermarket Chef Showdown Competition, the food retail industry’s premier recipe and cook-off challenge, recognized that when they named him one of 25 professional chef finalists whose recipes qualified them for a chance to go head-to-head in a live cook-off for national titles in five categories.

Montoya, who is known as “Edy,” will head to Chicago for the June 11 competition at the FMI Connect national trade show. He will prepare his recipe for “Caribbean fresh fish” in a cook-off against four other chefs who are finalists in the competition’s “Family Meals” category. The finalists were chosen from more than 130 entries representing 30 food retailers in five categories: healthy meals, family meals, ethnic meals, dessert and side dishes/mini-meals/snacks.

Montoya said he entered recipes into all five categories, as did other company chefs, and said the company’s corporate chef team is happy that one of them made the cut.

“It’s a big deal for all of us, not just me,” he said. “Hopefully I can go there and make everyone proud – and bring home the trophy!”

Bi-Lo Holdings Senior Chef Deanna Stephens noted that Montoya’s recipe was chosen on a basis of creativity, ingenuity and innovation.

“We are very, very excited that one of our corporate chefs has made it into the finals,” she said. “This is a national competition against all of the other retailers.”

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