Vote Now for the Next Safeway Culinary Kitchens Chef Choose Which Top Tier Chefs Will Advance to the Regional Cook-Offs

PLEASANTON, Calif., April 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The search is underway for the next Safeway (NYSE: SWY) Culinary Kitchens Chef, with a talented group of chefs vying for a new career opportunity and the chance to have their recipe be one of the new 100 percent natural Open Nature™ Skillet Meals sold in Safeway stores. Since Safeway launched the "Search for Our Next Chef" competition on February 15, America's top culinary talent has applied for the coveted job on the Safeway Culinary Kitchens team. Between now and April 20, Safeway is inviting people across the nation to vote for their favorite chef at facebook.com/safeway. Winners will advance to the regional cook-offs in San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago during the week of April 23, and the three regional winners will compete at the final cook-off at Safeway's headquarters on May 16.

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"Developing innovative, quality food is at the core of the Safeway Culinary Kitchens and the first-of-its-kind Search for our Next Chef competition embodies that spirit," said Mike Minasi, president of marketing at Safeway. "We are looking for a chef who demonstrates a passion for innovation, and who can create delicious, affordable and healthier meals we know our shoppers want."

An Opportunity That Can't Be Beat

The aspiring chef who ultimately lands the Culinary Chef position at the Safeway Culinary Kitchens will be furthering his or her career by:

  • Gaining national food industry exposure — Safeway's next chef will help develop recipes for key private label brands, including Open Nature, which are available at Safeway stores nationwide.
  • Accessing state-of-the-art resources — The Safeway Culinary Kitchens houses a 4,000-square-foot food development workspace, creating dishes using cutting-edge techniques and equipment.
  • Learning from the best — Joining the Safeway Culinary Kitchens team means working with experienced chefs who received hands-on coaching in renowned culinary schools and top dining destinations — providing the winner with invaluable industry knowledge and experience.

An experienced judging panel from Safeway will be at the regional cook-offs to determine the three chefs to advance to the final cook-off.  Final selection of the next chef will be handled by a Safeway Culinary Kitchens team member and Safeway Executives, along with Executive Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli, who appears on Food Network's "Chopped" and "Iron Chef." The judges will be looking for a well-rounded food expert who uses fresh and healthy ingredients when creating his or her recipe.

"Cooking competitions are a great way to test the creativity and skill of a chef, and I am looking forward to meeting the talented candidates," remarked Guarnaschelli. "It's an honor to be a judge for Safeway's final cook-off and ultimately launch the career for one of many talented chefs interested in joining the Safeway Culinary Kitchens team."

Visit www.facebook.com/safeway to vote for Safeway's next chef and follow #SafewayChef on Twitter for more information about the Search for Our Next Chef Competition.

About Safeway

Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,678 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $43.6 billion in 2011. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY. www.Safeway.com

SOURCE Safeway Inc.



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