April 03, 2015
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From left:  Winn-Dixie Corporate Training Chef Gabriel Sanchez-Leal, and Taste of Miami cooking competition winners Chef James Tahhan and Miami Marlins Pitcher Jose Fernandez.​

Winn-Dixie teamed up with the Miami Marlins Foundation to help launch the inaugural Taste of Miami Food Festival Feb. 20.

As part of the foodie frenzy, Winn-Dixie’s Miami Region Training Chef Gabriel Sanchez-Leal served as a guest judge for the Taste of Miami Food Festival cooking competition, in which two South Florida chefs crafted tasty recipes featuring Winn-Dixie Own Brand products. The event helped raise scholarship funds for Miami Culinary Institute at Miami Dade College.

The friendly competition pitted Chef Adrianne Calvo and Miami Marlins Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton against Chef James Tahhan and Miami Marlins Pitcher Jose Fernandez. The competitors had 45 minutes to create a winning dish and when the judging was done, Tahhan and Fernandez took home the coveted cooking competition title.

Chef Sahchez-Leal applauded the participants and said he took pride in judging two spectacular culinary aficionados on a closely contested matchup.

“The crowd was buzzing, which created a fun, but competitive, atmosphere and the contestants didn’t make it easy for us judges to choose a winner,” he said. “It was a wonderful experience to work with the Miami Marlins Foundation and help raise scholarship funds for the next generation of chefs to follow their dreams.”

Along with participating in the cooking competition, Winn-Dixie teamed up with Miami-based vendor Edda’s Cake Company to help showcase and promote local products that can be found at local Winn-Dixie stores throughout South Florida. Edda’s joined several Taste of Miami vendors who sampled delicious bites for local foodies throughout the evening.

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The crowd looks on as Chef Sanchez-Leal, left, and his fellow judges critique the Taste of Miami cooking competition dishes.

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Winn-Dixie Diversity Supplier Manager Kate Armstrong, center, with students of Miami Dade College’s Miami Culinary Institute, left, an Edda’s Cake Company representative, second from right and Edda’s Cake Company President Carlos Martinez, right.

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Winn-Dixie Corporate Training Chef Gabriel Sanchez-Leal speaks to the Taste of Miami cooking competition contestants.

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