Cook of the Week Challenge: Meet the judges

Daily Herald reports
Updated 11/1/2017 8:16 AM
  • John Engle

    John Engle

  • Jamie Andrade

    Jamie Andrade

  • Suzy Singh

    Suzy Singh

  • Angie Murillo

    Angie Murillo

  • Stephanie Dzugan

    Stephanie Dzugan

Meet the judges who rated the recipes entered in Week 4 of Daily Herald Cook of the Week Challenge 2017.

John Engle

President and CEO, King Oscar, Inc.

John Engle is President and CEO of King Oscar, Inc., a manufacturer of brisling sardines and the #1 selling sardine in the United States, as well as a growing line of premium-canned seafood including Norwegian brisling sardines, skinless and boneless sardines, kipper snacks, anchovies, and North Atlantic mackerel fillets. He is a 30-year veteran of the Consumer Packaged Goods industry, where he has held a variety of leadership positions with industry heavyweights such as General Mills, Schering-Plough, and Bumble Bee Foods.

John is best known for his passionate approach to product innovation and for his unwavering commitment to the development and execution of strategic business practices that result in long-term profitable sales growth. Engle has a BS in Business Management and an MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He lives in San Diego, California with his wife of 28 years, Janet, and their two sardine-loving children.

Meet the judges who will be evaluating the week-to-week cooking challenges facing this year's Cook of the Week Challenge contestants.

Angie Murillo

Manager for Tony's Fresh Market

Angelica Murillo, a Manager at Tony's Fresh Market, has worked in food retail since she was 15. She is passionate about food embraced by her father who's been a chef at their local lodge in Des Plaines for the past 40 years. Growing up, fast-food was not an option at the Murillo's residents. Her father would challenge his kids to create recipes using certain ingredients. Her father still being the king of the kitchens has embraced his skills with the family and who she has become enthusiastic about cooking. Angelica's talent now in creating healthy dishes and complement to help her family to live a healthier life through food.

Jamie Andrade

2014 Cook of the Year

Jamie Andrade lives in Elk Grove Village. Her winning dish was cornmeal-dusted sturgeon with sweet potato pumpkin puree topped with a whiskey orange brown butter sauce. She says her cooking know-how is all learned through experimentation-no formal training for her family. "My dad's family used to own a pizza shop years and years ago, so when I was little, we did make your own pizza nights. We'd make the dough; make the sauce and everything else. My mom's family had a cookie shop for a few years so Christmas we'd make dozens of different types of cookies. I started cooking during high school while working in several restaurants and got really into Food Network trying different things." What she's looking for in the winning cook? "I'm looking for someone who has a good use of the ingredients and makes them work cohesively. I want to see the contestants put up a solid dish that makes me think, 'Hey, I've had a can of pumpkin in the pantry forever. I'm going to try this one.'"

Stephanie J. Dzugan

Vice President, Savory Salads Inc.

Stephanie is a co-founder and co-owner of the restaurant group Savory Salads Inc. The company began with a simple fruit cup that she would market to water parks and convenience stores and evolved into a boxed lunch catering company. She began pursuing hotels and working with executive chefs to design gourmet sandwiches and salads. As the catering division grew, the next phase of growth included retail locations. At this time there are two Savory Salads locations in Barrington and Arlington Heights. She is constantly looking for inspiration for innovative and healthy recipes to incorporate into Savory Salads menu.

Chef Suzy Singh

R & D Corporate Chef for Ellyndale of NOW Foods

She's known as "The Spicy Chef," made it to the Top 4 in FOX's "MasterChef" Season 2. While cooking has always been a passion of Singh's, it hasn't always been her profession. In fact, as a first-generation South Asian, her family is from (Punjabi, Sikh), Singh worked in Neurosurgery as a Neural Engineer before making the switch to follow what she loved. She joined NOW Foods as R & D Corporate Chef in 2013 to drive new product development and create healthy solutions for existing products in the Food category. Singh currently heads the product development of a new line for NOW Foods called Ellyndale. This line is a focus on delicious, healthy and innovative products and allows Suzy passion for great tasting healthy food to come to life.

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