Have you ever made a meal and thought, “Man, I could sell that?” For some lucky small-time cooks, Lifetime is giving the chance of a lifetime with their new reality competition show Supermarket Superstar, as hosted by Stacy Keibler. Each week, three home chefs compete against the real world market conditions to pitch their products to nationwide grocery chains.
Chef Michael Chiarello (who also executively produces), Debbi Fields of Mrs. Fields Cookies, development chef Andrew Hunter, and Chris Cornyn (founder of DINE, The Food & Drink Agency) all mentor the aspiring entrepreneurs before their opportunity to pitch to Tom Dahlen, a buyer for The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P supermarkets). Dahlen will select one winner for each category themed episode to win $10,000 as well as $100,000 worth of brand and product development from DINE and Mattson.
Food and cooking shows are always fun to watch, but leave me hungry! Lifetime invited us to a sampling event in Los Angeles, California to feature several of this season’s hopefuls. From dessert to barbecue, it was a true sampling buffet. The episodes are broken up by categories such as sauces, cakes, and health foods, and meeting each contestant as they presented their dish was a grocery shopper’s dream come true.
I started with self-proclaimed Beeroness Jackie Dodd’s bacon and beer jam atop a brownie. You wouldn’t believe how amazing it tasted, and I immediately discovered why Supermarket Superstars is a necessity: without their help, I would have never tasted the sweet, salty, savory jam which I could eat on anything, let alone have a possible opportunity to buy it on grocery shelves. I couldn’t stop at desserts, so thankfully several entrées awaited! Monica Van Cleve is known locally in Virginia for her family’s Crab Pie (a cheesy crab pie who is a quiche meets crab cake), and their hopes are for Crab Pies to be found across America nearly shattered when the family’s restaurant recently closed. Her second shot at culinary history is provided by Supermarket Superstars in a chance to sell frozen Crab Pies as a grocery.
Here in Los Angeles, food trucks are a craze and essential to foodies on the go. Don Chow Tacos has been bringing Chinese-Mexican fusion to Angelenos. I think I was the most starstruck meeting local legend Dominic Lau, who introduced me to an exclusive chimale (Chinese tamale) from the show. Kung Pao chicken forever belongs in a tamale as prepared by the Don Chow crew, and their goals are to make a family meal of chimales available for under $6 by selling prepackaged chimales in the freezer aisle. It became clear that these contestants were trying to revolutionize an industry with territories never walked.
The series launches with one-hour episodes on Monday, July 22 at 9pm on Lifetime with the episode “Cakes.” I tried treats from all three contestants, and let me assure you, those boozy cakes are definitely cocktail replacements! In the later season finale, three episodic winners will return to compete by presenting their product and brand to A&P CEO Sam Martin. With so many delicious options, who will be the Supermarket Superstar?
Coverage brought to you by Surf and Sunshine Contributing Journalist Jayda Knight. Thank you to Lifetime for hosting this event. All opinions are original.