DOLE Launches Annual Recipe Cook-Off Contest

Are you a fan of small plates? Do you have a special grilling recipe that incorporates a DOLE® product and has your family and friends drooling for more? If so, DOLE wants to know about it! Submit your taste bud teaser for the DOLE 2012 California Cook-Off recipe contest at

Three finalists will pack their bags and head to beautiful California to dine with the stars for 4 days/3 nights. Finalists will prepare their delectable DOLE dish in a head-to-head competition with other finalists at celebrity haven, The Grove, in front of a live audience and a panel of judges led by renowned celebrity chef, Ben Ford on Sunday, June 24, 2012.

Mark your calendar now –submit a delicious appetizer, small plate, tapas, taster, or just a healthier portion sized dish that can be prepared in 60 minutes or less on a gas grill using at least one DOLE product and no more than seven additional ingredients online starting March 15, 2012 at 12 a.m. ET. The online submission process closes on May 25, 2012 so don’t miss out. More details and requirements can be found on Dole’s Facebook page.

Nervous about doing it on your own? Never fear—DOLE is here! Each finalist will have a specially selected food blogger sous chef to lend a hand during the Cook-Off event. And, for those who know good food and are “master tasters” but prefer to leave the cooking to others, also enter on Dole’s Facebook for a chance to join the panel of prestigious judges and help crown the 2012 DOLE California Cook-Off winner. One winner will be randomly selected and win a trip to Hollywood plus a $500 cash prize!

Chef Ben Ford, Executive Chef and Proprietor of Ford’s Filling Station, and his panel of judges, including foodie personality Kristina Vanni, will select the most DOLE-icious recipe and present the grand prize winner with a $10,000 cash prize. Judging criteria for the grand prize winner will be based on best use of DOLE products, creativity, flavor and taste.

“If you are one of those who watches cooking shows and says, ‘I can do that,’ this is your chance to prove it. This is a challenge for everyone to show their stuff, whether you are the executive chef to your family, the hostess at your own dinner parties, or the full-time worker bee who is challenged to eat healthfully amongst a busy schedule,” said Chef Ben Ford.

Visit and share your best small bites grilling recipe. Also, check out for more information on the products to use for this contest as well as easy and delicious recipes for entertaining or everyday use.

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.

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Jessica Schmidt
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