Celebrate Small Town USA and the dining establishments, chefs and menu items that make these communities so irreplaceable. This summer, General Mills Foodservice is kicking off the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest, a competition challenging and celebrating the one-of-a-kind dishes at independent family dining or neighborhood restaurants. They’re calling on these independent restaurants to spotlight and submit a favorite recipe for the chance to win up to $50,000 ($40,000 cash plus a $10,000 donation to give back to a local charity).

From Aug. 1 through Sept. 30, 2014, restaurants may submit their favorite original breakfast, entrée or dessert recipes or create a new special dish that uses at least one ingredient from General Mills’ list of eligible products. Three category winners will be selected, from which, two will each be awarded a $10,000 first prize, and one will earn the Grand Prize. 

Intended to inspire culinary creativity, the Neighborhood to Nation recipe contest is open to foodservice operators, chefs and line cooks at independent family dining or “neighborhood” restaurants.

“We are inspired by the local flavor our customers cook up every day in neighborhoods across the country, and [we] look forward to celebrating these one-of-a-kind dishes with the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest,” says Grace Gilbertson, senior marketing manager for General Mills Foodservice.  “Recognizing the strong connection these neighborhood establishments have in their communities, we are particularly thrilled to award our Grand Prize winner an additional $10,000 to share with a local charity.”

The recipe contest also offers operators an opportunity to experiment with high quality and consistent products from General Mills as well as exclusive access to trend information, insights and ideas to help them differentiate their menus and delight their diners. Entries will be judged based on taste, appearance, creativity, and foodservice viability. The top 15 finalists and recipes will be announced in February, 2015, and the three Recipe Category Winners will travel to General Mills’ headquarters in March for a day of celebration and culinary inspiration along with the announcement of the official Grand Prize winner.

Recipe submissions must include at least one ingredient from one of General Mills Foodservice’s participating brands: Pillsbury (biscuits), Gold Medal (baking mixes) and Yoplait (yogurt).  Entrants can receive  one $20 rebate for each recipe submission, up to a maximum of one rebate per participating brand during the entry period.  The recipe contest ends Sept. 30, 2014. For more information on eligibility, complete contest details and official contest rules, independent family restaurants should contact their General Mills Foodservice sales representative at 800/215-6120 or visit www.NeighborhoodtoNation.com.