Festa Italiana Announces First Chef’s Choice Recipe Contest

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 8, 2014… Calling all foodies! This year, Festa Italiana is spicing things up and inviting the public, 18 years or older, to participate in its first Chef’s Choice Recipe Contest! Whether the dish is lasagna, your take on the classic spaghetti with meatballs or even gelato, Festa is accepting all simple, easy to prepare Italian recipes now through June 13. 

Does your recipe have what it takes to bring home the Golden Spoon Award? Festa is encouraging Italian recipe submissions online or by mail.  After the June 13 deadline, the Festa Italiana food committee will select the top five recipes based on the following criteria: Ease in Preparation, Creativity and Presentation.  The top five recipe participants will be asked to present their dish to a panel of local celebrities and chefs in the Cucina Showcase on Sunday, July 20 at 2 p.m.

The judging panel includes:

  • Joe Bartolotta, The Bartolotta Restaurants
  • Peter Sandroni, La Merenda
  • Maria Liberati, award-winning Italian cookbook author and celebrity chef (
  • Lori Fredrich, food and dining writer for
  • Marilynn Mee, Host of mid-day WKLH radio

The judges will taste each dish in front of a live Cucina Showcase audience. The contest will be led by a an emcee and each participant will have the opportunity to explain his/her dish as the judges enjoy each recipe. The winner of the first Chef’s Choice Recipe Contest will receive the first Golden Spoon Award, along with other food-related prizes.

The deadline for entry is June 13, so mark your calendars and get cookin’! To submit a recipe, email your recipe along with a photo to Marie Lieber at or mail the recipe and photo to:

ATTN: Marie Lieber
Recipe Contest
Italian Community Center
631 E. Chicago Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Please include the following information in your submission: cook’s name, cook’s email, address, phone number, recipe title and recipe type (main dish, side dish, dessert). Recipes should include ingredients, measurements, step-by-step preparation, cooking directions and a photo of the dish when finished.

For more information about the Chef’s Choice Recipe Contest and Festa Italiana, please visit or

About Festa Italiana

The 37th annual Festa Italiana takes place at Henry W. Maier Festival Park (Summerfest grounds) on Milwaukee’s lakefront.  The festival runs Friday, July 18, to Sunday, July 20. 

Festa Italiana is the largest Italian event of its kind in America today.  The Festival began in 1978 for the purpose of reuniting an Italian community torn apart by urban renewal projects and was the first ethnic festival in Milwaukee. Today, several ethic festivals are celebrated on Milwaukee’s lakefront and the city is now widely known as the City of Festivals.  Through the dedication of more than 2,000 volunteers, the annual Festa Italiana has become a favorite family event to Milwaukee and surrounding areas. 

Please follow Festa Italiana on Twitter and become a fan of Festa Italiana on Facebook at  For more information on the festival, please visit or call 414-223-2808. 

Festa Italiana is sponsored in part by MillerCoors, Calypso Lemonade, Potawatomi Bingo Casino, International Autos Group., Major Goolsby’s, Pyramax Bank, and Catholic Financial Life.

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