DOLE Announces Grand Prize Winner for 2011 California Cook-off

After thousands of entries and recipes from across the nation for the 2011 California Cook-Off Facebook contest, DOLE® has selected a winner with the help of celebrity Chef Ben Ford and an esteemed panel of guest judges. Michael Cohen from Los Angeles, CA won the grilling competition and $2,500 for his winning Moroccan Raisin ‘n’ Date Flatbread recipe!

Michael was one of three finalists selected to participate in the annual DOLE California Cook-Off event. Skillet Grilled Triple Fruit Cobbler submitted by Mary Shivers of Ada, OK and Grilled Pizza with Canadian Bacon ‘n’ Charred Tropical Fruit by Barbara Estabrook of Rhinelander, WI rounded out the tough grilling competition.

This year’s participants were invited to submit a recipe that was prepared entirely on a gas grill using at least one DOLE product, including: DOLE Canned Fruit, Fruit in Plastic Jars, Fruit Bowls, Canned Juice, Frozen Fruit, Raisins, Dates, or a variety of DOLE Salad products. All entries were judged on their best use of DOLE products, creativity, flavor and tastes.

To kick off the Cook-Off, celebrity chef and grilling guru, Ben Ford wowed the audience with his famous Grilled Pork Tenderloin with DOLE Fruit Chutney and DOLE Mandarin Orange Salad recipe. He was then joined by guest blogger judge Melissa Garcia from and Facebook sweepstakes winner Patricia Oravec of Tampa, FL. to help judge the three finalists.

“We asked for creativity and our finalists really delivered,” said Ben Ford, Executive Chef and Proprietor of Ford’s Filling Station. “This was a difficult decision and the competition was tough. Ultimately we chose Michael’s recipe for its creativity and ingenuity in using DOLE Raisins and Dates on a grill.”

The Cook-Off was held at The Grove in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 26 with an audience of thousands cheering on the finalists grilling on Barbeques Galore Grand Tech 4 grills, enjoying samples of DOLE products and watching the judges taste test the amazing recipes to make a final decision.

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About DOLE Food Company, Inc.

DOLE is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas. DOLE markets a growing line of packaged and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.


Rogers Ruder Finn
Jessica Schmidt
(310) 552-4177

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