March 16, 2015
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  Chef Deanna Stephens, Winn-Dixie sr. corporate chef with award-wining dish.​

New Orleans is a place famous for delicious food and grand celebrations. These celebrations are a great place for the community to gather together to enjoy the city’s rich culture.

On Feb. 21, the community came out in large numbers to show support and raise funds for the Girl Scouts of Louisiana East. The organization hosted a festive gala highlighting what they’re best known for – Girl Scout Cookies.

The first annual Cookies and Cocktails gala put an interesting twist on the classic treats by inviting more than 25 local chefs to create their versions of sweet and savory dishes incorporating Girl Scout Cookies. Their unique dishes, along with signature cocktails, were sampled throughout the evening. Nearly 400 event guests sampled culinary delights and were invited to vote on their favorite.

Winn-Dixie kicked off the festivities by hosting the Patron Party, where District 5 store associates provided delicious deli favorites to VIP guests. But it was the dish at the main event that stole the show. Chef Deanna Stephens, Winn-Dixie senior corporate chef, represented the grocer with a crowd-pleasing and delectable Samoa Braised Short Ribs over Creamy Grits dish. Winn-Dixie took home the People's Choice award for Chef Stephen’s creative and delicious take on this challenging dish.

“It was an honor to be a part of the first annual Cookies and Cocktails Gala,” said Chef Stephens. “We worked hard to develop a nontraditional dish that incorporated cookies, but was still flavorful and delicious. I was very proud of how well received the finished product was during the event.”

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From left, Nissa Lewis, fresh area manager of Winn-Dixie store No. 1588; Chef Greg Retz, Bi-Lo Holdings culinary operations director; Nicole Untereiner, assistant store director of Winn-Dixie store No. 1411; Chef Deanna Stephens, Winn-Dixie senior corporate chef.

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