On May 16, celebrity chef Alex Guarnaschelli will be in Pleasanton on a panel judging a cooking contest sponsored by Safeway. The winner gets a chef position in Safeway Culinary Kitchens, and the winning dish will be sold in Safeway stores. Entries must be received by March 7. Visit www.facebook.com/Safeway for details.
Will you be judging professionals or home cooks? Anyone can enter.
What are the competition’s parameters? We’re looking for a good, simple meal that mixes natural ingredients, is a recipe that is accessible and can be made in one skillet.
Do you have tips for prospective contestants? Because competing can bring people out of their comfort zone, creating food in your comfort zone — something you make at home, that you love, something simple — that really works.
Why do you think cooking contests are so popular? They can be inspiring. People like to win, they like the validation.
What’s the best thing about judging cooking contests? Encouraging people to cook, and seeing what kind of ideas people come up with.
Do you prefer competing or judging? Competing. It’s more fun, it’s more athletic.