HOUSTON, Oct. 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY) is partnering with celebrity chef Robert Irvine in the Chopped: Impossible Restaurant Challenge, a multi-faceted promotional campaign on Food Network's broadcast and digital channels that launches Oct. 15. It includes an online contest targeting restaurant professionals.
Chopped: Impossible Restaurant Challenge will ask restaurant professionals to submit recipes to be judged initially by Food Network culinary staff with 10 winners to be selected for a finalist round. A public vote then narrows the finalists to four, each of whom will fly with a guest to New York City to demonstrate their cooking skills for Chef Irvine with a grand prize winner receiving $10,000. More information about the contest is available at FoodNetwork.com/restaurantchallenge.
Chopped: Impossible Restaurant Challenge ties into Food Network's Chopped: Impossible, premiering Thursday, Oct. 22. In this four-part tournament, Chef Irvine will command a seat on the judging panel in each of the first three episodes to determine which three competitors advance to the grand finale for a chance to win prize money and face off against Chef Irvine.
This marks Sysco's third consecutive year to work with Chef Irvine and the Food Network where Sysco's position as the foodservice industry's leader is highlighted and reinforced through TV commercials, custom vignettes, digital advertising, contests and product integrations. Since 2013, Sysco has advertised on and conducted campaigns with Chef Irvine's popular series, Restaurant: Impossible. Additionally, Chef Irvine, a longtime Sysco customer since 1997, serves as an ambassador for Sysco.
"As Sysco continuously strives to innovate and to provide the necessary ingredients for success to our restaurant customers, we are excited to continue our relationship with Chef Irvine," said Bill Goetz, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Sysco. "One of the keys to success in Chopped: Impossible is the chefs' ability to utilize a Sysco-provided pantry of fresh and local ingredients that will bring to life their culinary creations. At Sysco, these are the kinds of ingredients we can make available to our customers so that they can delight their diners."
Additionally, Sysco has developed a microsite, Syscopantry.com, to provide details about the fresh and local pantry ingredients used both in the show and in the promotion.
"We believe that the combination of the Food Network contest, a contest among Sysco customers and prospective customers, and our relationship with Chef Irvine can continue to differentiate and contemporize the Sysco brand," Goetz said. "While we want to create unique marketing and sales promotion opportunities to help us grow our business, we also want to create excitement and help build pride among our associates. Altogether, these activities further demonstrate Sysco's commitment to being our customers' most valued and trusted business partner."
Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home. Its family of products also includes equipment and supplies for the foodservice and hospitality industries. The company operates 196 distribution facilities serving approximately 425,000 customers. For Fiscal Year 2015 that ended June 27, 2015, the company generated sales of more than $48 billion. For more information, visit www.sysco.com or connect with Sysco on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SyscoCorporation or Twitter at https://twitter.com/Sysco. For important news regarding Sysco, visit the Investor Relations section of the company's Internet home page at www.sysco.com/investors, follow us at www.twitter.com/SyscoStock and download the new Sysco IR App, available on the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Market. In addition, investors should also continue to review our news releases and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is possible that the information we disclose through any of these channels of distribution could be deemed to be material information.
About Chef Robert Irvine
With more than 25 years in the culinary profession, Chef Robert Irvine has cooked his way through Europe, the Far East, the Caribbean and the Americas, in hotels and on the high seas. As the host of one of the Food Network's highest rated shows, Restaurant: Impossible, Irvine saves struggling restaurants across America by assessing and overhauling the restaurant's weakest spots. Irvine was previously the host of Food Network's Dinner: Impossible and Worst Cooks in America, has authored two cookbooks, Mission: Cook! and Impossible to Easy, and one healthy living book, Fit Fuel: A Chef's Guide to Eating Well and Living Your Best Life. Irvine is currently on tour with his new, interactive live show Robert Irvine Live, and appears regularly as an expert guest on national morning and daytime talk shows. In 2015, Irvine launched Robert Irvine Foods, a company that features a nutritionally improved line of food products without compromising great taste. Irvine recently established the eponymously named non-profit organization, The Robert Irvine Foundation, in an effort to support military personnel and their families. For more information on Chef Robert Irvine, visit www.ChefIrvine.com.
About Food Network
FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers' best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to more than 100 million U.S. households and up to 35 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine's rate base has grown 13 times and is now the third largest monthly magazine on the newsstand, with over 12.4 million readers. Headquartered in New York, Food Network has a growing international presence with programming in more than 150 countries, including 24-hour networks in the United Kingdom, Asia, and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE:SNI), which also owns and operates Cooking Channel (www.cookingchanneltv.com), HGTV (www.hgtv.com), DIY Network (www.diynetwork.com), Travel Channel (www.travelchannel.com) and Great American Country (www.gactv.com), is the manager and general partner.
CONTACT: For more information: Charley Wilson Vice President, Communications T: 281-584-2423