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Semifinalists Announced for 4th Annual Hood® New England Dairy Cook-Off®

Lynnfield, MA (October 10, 2012)

HP Hood officially announces the 30 New England semifinalists who are in the running to win $10,000 in the 4th Annual Hood® New England Dairy Cook-Off®.  The competition, presented by Hood Cream, will take place at its new location at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI on October 21st, 2012. Johnson & Wales College of Culinary Arts selected the semifinalist entries The Hood New England Dairy Cook-Off gives amateur cooks from across New England the chance to compete in a head-to-head cook-off.  All recipes are original and include at least one Hood dairy product in the following five categories: breakfast/brunch; soups/chowders; appetizers/side dishes; lunch/dinner (entrée); and dessert.  Among the 2012 finalist judges is Michele Ragussis, a celebrated chef and a finalist on Season Eight of Food Network's "Food Network Star." Ragussis, who attended Johnson & Wales, will help judge the dishes based on taste appeal, presentation/appearance, and creativity/originality. Additional final round judges will also include Chef Branden J. Lewis, Instructor, Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts; Peggy Poole, Vice President of Quality Systems and Regulatory Affairs, HP Hood; Cindy Salvato, Chef and founder of Savoring Rhode Island culinary walking tours; and Linda Beaulieu, Cookbook author and writer for Providence Monthly. The 30 semifinalists include: CONNECTICUTJon Wright of Middletown, CT - Blueberry Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins (Breakfast/Brunch)Marie Connor of Mystic, CT - Rustic French Onion (Soups/Chowders)Jessica Zelask of Burlington, CT - Cloudy with a Chance of Cauliflower (Appetizers/Side Dishes)Linda Rhor of Darien, CT - Porcini Crusted Skirt Steak & New Potato Salad with Creamy Herb Garden Dressing (Lunch/Dinner)Sara Walker of Manchester, CT - Sweet Buttermilk New England Harvest Crepes (Dessert)MAINEBobby McAuliffe of Portland, ME - German Apple Pancake (Breakfast/Brunch)Mary Ann Graham of Kennebunk, ME - Lobster Chowder with Grilled Corn (Soups/Chowders)Mary Lou Dahle of Durham, ME - Coast of Maine Spicy Shrimp Tapas (Appetizers/Side Dishes)William Gillard of Damariscotta, ME - Ocean Bounty Creamery (Lunch/Dinner)Donna Speirs of Kennebunk, ME - Jazzy Chocolate Cake (Dessert)MASSACHUSETTSJean Dziedzinski of Chelmsford, MA - Late Summer Layered Crustless Quiche (Breakfast/Brunch)Teresa Hasu of Framingham, MA - Shrimp & Corn Chowder with Corn Fritter Bites (Soups/Chowders)Debra Breor of Greenfield, MA - Stuffed Mushrooms (Appetizers/Side Dishes)Allison Lehane of Newbury, MA - Salmon Baked in Puff Pastry with Chardonnay Sour Cream Sauce (Lunch/Dinner)Marjorie Robinson of Longmeadow, MA - Flanuccino (Dessert)NEW HAMPSHIREBeverly Dowdy of Hampstead, NH - The Big Easy Stuffed French Toast (Breakfast/Brunch)Kevin Towle of Gonic, NH - Heaven & Hell Chowder (Soups/Chowders)Beth Taylor of Hopkinton, NH - One-Hour Eggnog Rolls (Appetizers/Side Dishes)Robert Bear of Rye Beach, NH - Pan-Roasted Cod with Chorizo, Clams and Red Pepper Cream (Lunch/Dinner)Deborah Furino of Greenland, NH - Apple Kaka with Vanilla Sauce (Dessert)RHODE ISLANDGretchen Everin of Middletown, RI - Creamy Confetti Chicken [on an English Muffin] (Breakfast/Brunch)Christina Bamberger of East Providence, RI - Creamy Southwestern White Chicken Chili (Soups/Chowders)Valerie Szlatenyi of Wakefield, RI - Mini Lobster & Corn Soufflés with Tarragon Brown Butter (Appetizers/Side Dishes)Billie Fasulo of Pawtucket, RI - Sour Cream Potato Gnocchi with Tomato Cream Sauce (Lunch/Dinner)Mary Jo Fletcher LaRocco of North Kingston, RI - Cranberry Limoncello Tarts in a Gingersnap Hazelnut Crust (Dessert)VERMONTJoy Kipp of St. Albans, VT - Creamy Pumpkin Gluten-Free Pancakes (Breakfast/Brunch)Carolyn Wheel of Fairfax, VT - Simply Smart Seafood Chowder (Soups/Chowders)Forrest White of Williston, VT - Acorn Squash 'n Blossom Fritter with Vichyssoise Shooter (Appetizers/Side Dishes)Peter Weisberger of Rutland, VT - Braised Rabbit with Wild Mushroom Curry Cream Sauce (Lunch/Dinner)Kevin Wheel of Fairfax, VT - Apple Crepes with Warm Buttermilk Syrup (Dessert)"We could not be happier to bring the excitement of the Hood New England Dairy Cook-Off to Providence," said Chris Ross, Vice President of Marketing, HP Hood.  "We are thrilled to receive each year's entries and try their creations. We love our consumers' enthusiasm for cooking and their loyalty to Hood products." Each of the 30 semifinalists selected to attend the Cook-Off will receive a prize of $100.  One winner from each category will advance to the finals for the $10,000 grand prize.  Finalists who do not win the grand prize will each receive $500.For more information on the Hood New England Dairy Cook-Off, please log onto For more information on Hood, please visit or become a fan of Hood at or on About HoodFounded in 1846, today Hood is one of the largest branded dairy operators in the United States.  Hood is the number-one dairy brand in New England, and Hood's portfolio of national and super-regional brands and franchise products includes Hood, Crowley Foods, Simply Smart Milk, Heluva Good!, LACTAID®, HERSHEY®'S Milk and Milkshakes and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze®. For more information about Hood, please visit