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G.L. Mezzetta Announces Winner Of America’s Best Sandwich Recipe Contest

Ninette Holbrook, of Orlando, Florida
Wins $25,000 and a trip to Napa ValleyMake That Sandwich Contest

September 2009 - G.L. Mezzetta, Inc., America’s number one producer of imported and domestic peppers and olives, today announced Ninette Holbrook, of Orlando, Florida as the Grand Prize Winner of the Second Annual Mezzetta Make That Sandwich Contest. Holbrook’s recipe for her vegetarian Open Faced Wine Braised Fig and Caramelized Onion Sandwich earned her $25,000 and a culinary trip and tour of the Napa Valley, home to Mezzetta.

“We were extremely impressed with the level of creativity among the thousands of entries, and there were some fantastic combinations of Mezzetta products.  We weren’t sure about an open-faced sandwich, but the exquisite flavor combinations couldn’t be denied and with every bite the flavor gets better and better,” explains Jeff Mezzetta, President.  “We loved loved the salty, sweet, savory, sophistication of this sandwich and how she incorporated our Calamata Olives and Marinated Sweet Roasted Yellow and Red Peppers.”

Although Holbrook considers herself a lifelong foodie, before this year she hadn’t competed in a cooking contest - and this is her first win.  She got the recipe idea when tasting a Mezzetta Calamata olive and honey spread for a different recipe, and thought it would combine well with two of her favorite ingredients: caramelized onions and figs.

“I think gourmet sandwiches are becoming popular because they allow for more creativity and imagination.  For many people, sandwiches are a comfort food, they take them to a happy place.” said Holbrook. 

The Mezzetta team challenged sandwich lovers across the country to submit their recipe for “The Best Sandwich Ever” in the categories of: cold sandwich, hot sandwich, and vegetarian.  Holbrook entered her sandwich in the Vegetarian category.  The other category finalists include:

Cold Sandwich:
Peter Halferty from Corpus Christi, TX with his My Banh Mi Chick.

Hot Sandwich:
Virginia Suddath form Kihei, Hawaii with her Kona Po’ Boy.

The 2008 winner of the Mezzetta Make That Sandwich Contest, Edwina Gadsby, wowed judges with her hot Spanish-Style Grilled Cheese Sandwich, with Smoky Paprika Roasted Pepper & Tomato Topping, and sends a big congratulations to this year’s winners.  Gadsby added, “The contest proves that sandwiches don’t have to be boring, and sometimes you just need to think outside the box (or should that be jar?).”

“We at Mezzetta are creating an online destination for sandwich lovers by compiling the best recipes in the country on our website - giving everyone a chance to discover new, delicious creations.” says Jeff Mezzetta.  “Our variety of products, ranging from many different peppers to olives from all around the world as well as sauces and marinades, add real flavor in a healthy and simple way.  Mezzetta makes everyday sandwiches special.”

The Third Annual Mezzetta Make That Sandwich Contest will kick off on Memorial Day, 2010.  For the winning recipes, interviews with the winners and other sandwich ideas, visit

ABOUT G.L. MEZZETTA: With a tradition that began in 1935 in San Francisco’s historic North Beach, G.L. Mezzetta is a specialty food producer which is best known for being America’s favorite brand of domestic and imported peppers and olives.  Now based in the culinary capital of Napa Valley, California, the G.L. Mezzetta family includes three distinct brands which represent a wide variety of regional culinary specialties made from wholesome, quality ingredients and authentic recipes.  Based on a rich Italian-American heritage spanning four generations, G.L. Mezzetta is committed to delivering flavor, convenience, and value to today’s health-conscious consumers.



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