Celebrity chef helps Hy-Vee get families cooking

 WEST DES MOINES, Iowa  -- Hy-Vee announced that it has enlisted the help of celebrity chef Curtis Stone to develop a series of recipes designed to bring families together for meals.

Under the exclusive agreement with Hy-Vee, Stone, who stars as an investor/mentor on NBC's "America's Next Great Restaurant." will be featured in the company's TV commercials, print ads and in-store promotional materials over the next two years, said Randy Edeker, president and COO of Hy-Vee.

"We are excited to be teaming with one of world's most popular chefs to help our customers prepare and serve fresh, wholesome meals for their families," Edeker said. "Hy-Vee's partnership with Curtis Stone came about because we share the same passion for making mealtime a celebration of food, family and fun."

According to the company, Stone's recipes for Hy-Vee will emphasize fresh, high-quality, seasonal ingredients and ease of preparation. New recipes will appear each month in the company's print ads, on its website and in stores. Television commercials will feature Stone shopping for ingredients in Hy-Vee stores and helping customers cook and serve the featured dishes at home.

Hy-Vee said it is in the process of shooting the initial series of TV commercials starring Stone, which will debut in early May. The first recipes in the series focus on the "Food, Family, Fun" theme, featuring ideas for summertime grilling and casual entertaining.

In addition to his role on "America's Next Great Restaurant," Stone has appeared on TLC's "Take Home Chef" and on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice." He's also the author of several books, including Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone, and is a regular guest on NBC's Today and The Biggest Loser.

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