Chefs competed in the 2019 Chef Invitational conducted by California Giant Berry Farms with berry dishes. ( Courtesy of California Giant Berry Farms )

Expect a new theme, new location and new guidelines at the 3rd Annual Chef Invitational July 19-22, hosted by California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville, Calif.

For the first time, the berry company is moving the culinary competition to the Pacific Northwest and asking retail chefs to submit berry-inspired entree and dessert recipes.

Finalists will tour the company’s summer blueberry farms near Portland, Oregon, according to a news release. They will also visit with growers, learn about California Giant’s sustainability initiatives and Bee Better program, sample berries and participate in a secret second challenge to be announced at the event.

“At California Giant, we are continuing to increase blueberry production and year-round supplies from all major growing regions in both conventional and organic categories, so it made perfect sense to promote blueberries through this event in the ‘Year of Blue,’” foodservice director Tom Smith said in the release. Pantone designated 2020 as the year of classic blue.

The online recipe submission portal is open until May 1. Recipes will be judged on appearance, use of at least two berries, flavor and creativity.

The chef finalists will be announced by May 11. To learn more or submit a recipe for the competition, visit

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