Olive Garden to Make Aspiring Chefs’ Dreams Come True Through ‘Cocinando Un...

Olive Garden to Make Aspiring Chefs’ Dreams Come True Through ‘Cocinando Un Sueno’ Contest

Grand Prize includes trip to Olive Garden's Culinary Institute of Tuscany and a guest appearance on Univision's Sabado Gigante and Despierta America


ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 2, 2010 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Now through December 12th, Olive Garden is sponsoring a contest to award an aspiring chef an exclusive trip to Italy to learn from Olive Garden master chefs at the Olive Garden Culinary Institute of Tuscany (CIT). The prize also includes a $10,000 culinary scholarship and a live guest appearance on Univision’s “Sabado Gigante” and “Despierta America.”

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Through the second annual “Cocinando un Sueno” culinary scholarship contest, Spanish-speaking students can submit video entries, at http://www.cocinandounsueno.com. Videos highlight aspiring chefs’ passion for cooking and describe their culinary dreams. Additionally, five runners-up will each receive a $1,500 scholarship.

“For more than a decade, our team members have traveled to Italy and found inspiration at Olive Garden’s Culinary Institute of Tuscany,” said Stephanie Gutierrez, Olive Garden’s director of brand management. “Our hope is that the ‘Cocinando un Sueno’ winner will find inspiration and learn key Italian cooking skills, that will take him or her beyond the culinary trip to a lifetime of success in the culinary field.”

Last year’s grand prize scholarship winner, Maggie Ibarra, accompanied Don Francisco, host of Univision’s “Sabado Gigante,” to the Culinary Institute of Tuscany. There, she worked with Olive Garden Master Chef Paolo Lafata to learn the importance of fresh ingredients, how to layer flavors and how to pair cuisine with Italian wines.

Today, Ms. Ibarra is a team member at the Olive Garden in Sugarland, Texas. According to Gutierrez, “That was not a planned part of the contest, but it is a great example that dreams of an aspiring chef can come true.”

Like last year’s contestants, the grand prize winner will ultimately be chosen by popular vote from fans. Judges will first select six finalists to move onto the public voting phase based on authenticity, personality, personal story or dream and interaction with the camera. After the finalists are selected, guests can vote for their favorite chef at http://www.cocinandounsueno.com. All voters are given a random chance to instantly win a $10 Olive Garden gift card after voter registration.

Contest details, including rules and submission information, can be found at http://www.cocinandounsueno.com.

About Olive Garden:

Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 700 restaurants, more than 85,000 employees and $3 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a part of the Darden family of restaurants (NYSE: DRI), the world’s largest company-owned and operated full-service restaurant company. For more information, visit Olive Garden’s Web site at http://www.olivegarden.com.

SOURCE Olive Garden

Olive Garden to Make Aspiring Chefs’ Dreams Come True Through ‘Cocinando Un Sueno’ Contest