Daily Herald Cook Of The Week Challenge


November 16, 2018

Gonnella Baking Company Featured In Cook Of The Week Challenge


(Schaumburg, Ill.)—Gonnella Baking Company’s vice president of sales, Dave Gonnella, served as a judge for the Daily Herald’s 8th annual Cook Of The Week Challenge in November. The company’s French Style Bread Crumbs and Premium Italian Bread also were featured ingredients in the local cooking competition.

This year’s contest kicked off in October with eight home cooks vying for the coveted spoon trophy and prizes valued at more than $1,500. Each week, contestants were given a basket of surprise ingredients and were required to create an original dish showcasing those items. As the competition progressed, food challenges became more difficult and each week one contestant was eliminated with four making it to the live cook-off finale.

Gonnella’s French Style Bread Crumbs were featured in week #4’s challenge. The final winning dish featured Gonnella’s Premium Italian Bread topped by other surprise ingredients of flank steak, escarole, garlic sauce, and virgin olive oil. Local celebrity judges, including Dave Gonnella, rated each dish on presentation, taste, creativity, and use of the surprise ingredients.

“Darla Pitts, an Arlington Heights firefighter, prevailed in the finale by braiding and toasting the crusts of Gonnella’s Premium Italian Bread to be used as the base for her steak and eggs Benedict with hollandaise sauce and escarole hash,” said Dave Gonnella. “Her dish beat all others in presentation and taste. I would like to congratulate Darla for taking top honors.”

While only one could be crowned winner, the thrilling finale featured talented local home cooks along with their Sous Chefs battling it out for the title. Proceeds from the live event support the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

“I was really impressed with the level of competition and the quality of cooking under the pressure of the clock,” Gonnella continued.

Participating in the Cook Of The Week Challenge was a natural for Gonnella. Like the Daily Herald, which has been a family run newspaper for four generations, Gonnella has been a family owned and operated bakery for more than 132 years.

“Home cooking is all about cooking for family and friends, so it was exciting to see the crowd cheering on their friends and family participating in the competition,” he said.



Since its inception in Chicago in 1886,Gonnella has been designing and producing breads and rolls with legendary quality. Today, the baking company serves consumers and restaurants nationwide,generating more than four million pounds of product weekly at its two Illinois facilities in addition to its plant in Hazle Township, Pennsylvania. A high quality supplier for the in-store bakery and food service industries, Gonnella offers several product lines within the consumer packaged products, fresh baked, baked frozen, and frozen dough categories.

For more information, visit www.gonnella.com.