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Alameda’s Bonnie Joy Cooks for Cash

Self-taught cook Bonnie Joy of Alameda competed today at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of California in San Diego for a possible $10,000 grand prize in the Foster Farms fresh chicken cooking contest.

Last month, Ms. Joy’s Nut Crusted Chicken with Roasted Beet Medallions, Beet Greens Gremolata and Arugula Salad beat out more than 1,000 other West Coast chicken recipes to advance to the regional finals today, and a shot at $1,000 on the way to a $10,000 grand prize.

Joy, a native of the Bay Area, takes advantage of the region’s easy access to fresh ingredients to create new dishes. Competition cooking runs in the family – her grandmother was a recipe contest enthusiast who once graced the cover of Gourmet magazine, and won a trip to Hawaii. The granddaughter started entering cooking contests to try to fund her education; she’s pursuing an advanced degree and hopes to become a physician’s assistant. One of her recipes was featured in Sunset Magazine in 2010 after being selected a winner.

Bonnie Joy of Alameda prepping for the fresh chicken cooking contest in San Diego. Bonnie at right-front. (Photo courtesy Foster Farms)

Nut-Crusted Chicken with Roasted Beet Medallions, Beet Greens Gremolata and Arugula Salad.

Bonnie Joy’s Nut-Crusted Chicken with Roasted Beet Medallions, Beet Greens Gremolata and Arugula Salad.

Although her dish was well received, the judges – Christine Ross, food editor at U-T San Diego, Lori Lange, editor of RecipeGirl.com, Susan Russo, editor of FoodBlogga.com, and Itica Milanes, reporter and weekend anchor with KGTV 10News – denied Joy, and by extension, Alameda, any further fresh-cooked chicken fame. California winners Jackie Dodd and Merry Grahm, who prepared Spice Rubbed Chicken Thighs with Chipotle Béarnaise and Avocado Lime Quinoa Salad and Lemon-Hoisin Glazed Chicken on Roasted Asparagus and Cherry Sesame Rice, respectively, advance to the finals in Napa Valley at the end of the month competing for the grand prize against the regional winners from Oregon and Washington State.

Aside from the $10,000 the grand prize includes a one-year supply of Foster Farms fresh chicken.

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