CHICAGO --Nearly 20 food entrepreneurs were chosen to pitch their products to our judges: Kevin Pang, Ina Pinkney, and Alpana Singh and to Peapod's Tony Stallone.
All of the semi-finalists put their best food forward but only 6 finalists will move on in this year's Peapod's Next Best.
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Peapod's Next Best: Family recipes
Empanadas from Mamos Latin Flavors, Ora Lee's Gourmet Artisanal Potato Salad, Eastside Café Pizza and the J&S Evanston Sauce all impressed the judges.
Peapod's Next Best: Familiar Faces
Diane Garber of WillPOWER Your Day and Nicole Betourney of Isn't That Sweet return for a second shot at becoming Peapod's Next Best.
Peapod's Next Best: Young foodies
The three sisters behind NaNiNu Mini Batter Cakes are the youngest semi-finalists we've ever had and Marcus Freeman of Signature Sweets Factory talks about his cake jars and his love of business at such an early age.
Ji also takes a bite out of Chicago Johnny's Hot Giardiniera and the judges are wowed by Shannon Detman's Bakeosaurus Rex Custom Sugar Cookies.
Peapod's Next Best: Home cooks
Oswego's Sarah Stone impressed the judges with her homemade S-Squared Infamous Popcorn and judge Ina Pinkney would love to have Cheryl's Chicken Spinach Lasagna for dinner all the time.
Semi-finalist Lashonda Crockett had the judges drinking up her Pennie's Tea.
Peapod's Next Best: Cheese, sauces, cocktails and pies
Have you ever heard of buried cheese? If not, Ancient Cooking's Atorina Zomaya explains what it is. A fireman talks about coming up with his Vodka Pasta Sauce, hear what the 'JAB' in JABnow Cocktail Mixer stands for and the inspirational story behind Justice of the Pies.
Peapod's Next Best: Deliberations
What's in? What's not? The judges go back and forth, discussing each product, but in the end, we had our six finalists.