Congratulations Chef Keoni Chang!

"And the winner is ... Keoni Chang!" "YES!" I shouted and clapped my hands before I realized that everyone at my gate at the Charlotte ariport was staring at me. But I didn't mind. They probably saw my excitement and wondered if I had won the lottery. I was so thrilled — it felt like I had, or at least that Foodland had. I had been watching the live stream of the Food Marketing Institute's Supermarket Chef Showdown which took place in Dallas yesterday and was thrilled to hear that Foodland's very own corporate chef Keoni Chang had been named Grand Chef — the top supermarket chef in the entire country! Woo Hoo!

Keoni was a wonderful representative of not only Foodland, but Hawaii. Creating his "Deconstructed Ahi California Roll" for the judges, he put the flavors and tastes of Hawaii at the forefront in a way that made us all proud. Perhaps more importantly, he made clear his passion for bringing restaurant quality food to the supermarket.

Some of you may know Keoni as the chef in the cooking videos featured on our website. What you may not know is that he is not only one of the key individuals responsible for raising the quality of fresh foods throughout our store, but is also the creator of many of the wonderful prepared dishes we now offer. From our popular California Ahi Poke and Kahuku Corn Meatloaf to our Hamakua Springs Tomato Salsa, Flyin' Hawaiian Poke, Shrimp Ceviche and more, Keoni has brought us new, exclusive offerings that not only taste and look great, but make our customers' lives easier too. Indeed, Keoni's greatest contributions to Foodland since joining us in 2004 have been his commitment to educating our team and customers about food and his passion for bringing restaurant quality offerings to the supermarket. Mahalo and congratulations, Keoni — we are very proud of you.

Stay tuned for opportunities to meet Chef Keoni and try his winning dish in our stores. We look forward to celebrating his big win as the Supermarket Chef Grand Champion with all of you!

Chef Keoni Chang accepting his Grand Prize award with Leslie G. Sarasin, CEO of the Food Marketing Institute. Please click on the image above to see a video of the finale.Chef Keoni Chang accepting his Grand Prize award with Leslie G. Sarasin, CEO of the Food Marketing Institute. Please click on the image above to see a video of the finale.

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