Food Entrepreneur Challenge Lights a Fire under Great Ideas

Milwaukee, April 14, 2014– Inspired cooks with an innovative food or beverage business concept or early stage business are invited to enter this year’s Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge, a regional contest to find Wisconsin’s next great food entrepreneur.  The Challenge is sponsored by Milwaukee Area Technical College and by Reliable Water Services, a statewide provider of commercial water heaters, boilers and water softeners.

This year’s contest features a start-up category for those with a brand new food business idea and a new category for early stage food entrepreneurs who have already launched but are looking for help to get to the next level.

Beginning April 2, aspiring chefs, home cooks and early stage food entrepreneurs throughout Wisconsin can enter online at by submitting a short application and uploading a photo of their recipe or product concept. The site has contest rules and details.

The adult grand prize winner in each category will receive:

  • $2,000 in seed money from Reliable to start their business
  • Comprehensive entrepreneurial consultation package from MATC
  • Private meeting with food industry executives serving on FaB Milwaukee’s advisory council
  • Funding and growth consultation with financial specialists at MW Growth Partners

     Finalists will be selected in late May to participate in a final judging event in July at Milwaukee Area Technical College’s 6th Street Café.

“Whether you are just starting with a new concept or have already launched your food business, this contest could give you the culinary boost you need to succeed,” said Andrew Schneider, MATC bakery/pastry arts instructor and owner of Le Rêve Patisserie and Café, Wauwatosa.

Judges for the contest include:

  • Kurt Fogle, executive pastry chef for SURG Restaurant Group
  • Jan Kelly, owner and chef, Meritage restaurant, Milwaukee
  • Angela West, co-founder/publisher, Alcoholmanac Magazine
  • Lynn Sbonik, co-owner of Beans & Barley Deli, Market & Full Service Café
  • Eric Olesen, co-owner and president, O&H Danish Bakery of Racine
  • Jen Ede, publisher, Edible Milwaukee
  • Daphne Jones, owner, Glorious Malone’s Fine Sausages.
  • Rakesh (Ryan) Rehan, owner, Café India

“We can’t wait to see the innovative concepts this year’s entrants bring to the table,” said Lynne Robinson, President of Reliable Water Services.”

      For more information and to enter, visit Reliable Water Services at