Todd Schillinger will advance to finals for the chance to visit Chef Mario Batali in New York City
ALBANY, New York – Hannaford Supermarkets and Chef Mario Batali today announced that Todd Schillinger of Swanzey, New Hampshire has been named the Albany regional winner of the Mario Batali™ Home Chef Challenge, a unique recipe contest designed to celebrate home chefs and their cooking inspirations.
Schillinger’s preparation of Chicken New Hampshire was selected by a panel of local media judges and will now advance to the final round of the contest against regional winners from Burlington, VT and Portland, ME, for the chance to win the grand prize of an all-expenses paid trip for two to New York City to attend a taping of ABC’s The Chew, meet Mario and have dinner at one of his acclaimed restaurants.
A recovering addict, Schillinger learned the dish from a local Italian restaurant during his first years of sobriety and found inspiration in the cooking process to continue his journey of living an alcohol- and drug-free life.
“I come from a recovery background. At one point in my life, someone took a chance on me. Today validates that it was worth it,” said Schillinger. “I’m overwhelmed by and appreciative of this opportunity.”
The Albany regional championship was held at the Hannaford store at 900 Central Avenue in Albany. The three Albany regional semi-finalists were chosen based on their submission of a favorite, original recipe, their inspirational story about the recipe, and how the recipe can excite others about cooking at home.
The other two Albany regional semi-finalists were Lance Gray of Schenectady, NY, preparing Limoncello Cake with Seven Minute Frosting; and Nancy Holzman of Glens Falls, NY, preparing Zesty Tuscan Pasta Sauce. Each received a $100 Hannaford gift card and a gift basket.
“Hannaford is ecstatic to team up with Chef Mario Batali, a culinary visionary who shares our passion for food, home cooking, and hunger relief. We congratulate Todd on his victory, and each of the semi-finalists on their delicious recipes, which really exemplify the joy of home cooking, and the inspirations surrounding culinary creations,” said Hannaford President Mike Vail. “We look forward to seeing who Mario selects as the winner.”
The judges, who were selected as representatives of the Albany media corps, were also asked to prepare their own inspirational recipes, which, in turn, were evaluated by the regional semi-finalists. Times Union Senior Writer and Table Hopping Columnist Steve Barnes was selected the winner of the media division for a Duck Breast with Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto dish, and received a $1,000 Hannaford gift card for the Times Union Hope Fund. The other participating judges included FLY 92.3 on-air personality Ally and News 10 ABC Anchor Christina Arangio.
The grand prize winner of the Mario Batali Home Chef Challenge, who will be personally selected by Mario, will be announced the week of December 18. The first prize winner will receive a $1,000 Hannaford gift card. The second prize winner will receive a $500 gift card.
For more information about the Mario Batali Home Chef Challenge, visit Hannaford.com/HomeChefChallenge.
About Hannaford Supermarkets
Hannaford Supermarkets, based in Scarborough, Maine, operates 181 stores in the Northeast. Stores are located in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Hannaford employs more than 27,000 associates. Additional information can be found at www.hannaford.com.
About Mario Batali
Mario Batali counts 25 restaurants, eleven cookbooks, numerous television shows and six Eataly marketplaces among his ever-expanding empire of deliciousness.
Mario is the author of eleven cookbooks including the James Beard Award Winning, Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes (ecco 2005). In October of last year, Mario released Big American Cookbook (Grand Central Life & Style 2016), which features 250 simple and delicious recipes from San Diego fish tacos to Boston Cream Pie.
Mario appears daily on ABC’s “The Chew,” the Emmy Award winning daytime talk show on ABC that celebrates and explores life through food.
To learn more about Mario Batali, visit www.mariobatali.com.
To learn more about the Mario Batali Foundation or to donate to the matching program, visit www.mariobatalifoundation.org.