Fifty-four chefs from across the country have begun competing for a spot in the final round of the 2nd Annual US Foods Next Top Product contest.

From savory sauces to flaky pastries, recipes have been submitted to US Foods from across the country. The public will now vote to decide which dish will move on to the final round of competition. Voting is open through Sept. 20 at

"We're always looking to bring restaurant operators products that inspire them in the kitchen and this contest gives us the unique opportunity to collaborate directly with those on the frontlines of food, challenge their creativity and ultimately create the next great, chef-inspired product from US Foods," said Marshall Warkentin, vice president of Marketing at US Foods.

After receiving more than 1,000 submissions in the categories of bakery, hot appetizer or sauce, a team of culinary experts from US Foods evaluated each recipe for creativity, consumer appeal, sales opportunity and the ability to commercially produce the product. The submissions were narrowed down to 54 recipes, with one recipe representing each of the participating US Foods locations. Online users can now view all 54 semifinalists and vote for their favorite on the US Foods website.

The eight competitors with the most votes at the end of the online voting period will face off in a head-to-head cook-off at the World Food Championships in Las Vegas on Nov. 8. The winner will walk away with $20,000 in cash and prizes and their recipe will be turned into a US Foods product, distributed nationally as part of the company's new product launch in 2014.

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