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Images: Cook of the Week Challenge Finals

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Michael Pennisi of Carpentersville is named Cook of the year 2012 after winning the Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off with his dish Salmon Saute with spicy sweet potatoes and brussels slaw.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

The winning dish as prepared by Michael Pennisi- Salmon Saute with spicy sweet potatoes and Brussels slaw.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Michael Pennisi of Carpentersville is named Cook of the year 2012 after winning the Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off with his dish Salmon Saute with spicy sweet potatoes and brussels slaw.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Judges make their decisions during the Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Michael Pennisi and his sister Mary Samycia work on their dish for the Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

An excited Michael Pennisi of Carpentersville wins the Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off, with his dish Salmon Saute with spicy sweet potatoes and brussels slaw.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Judge Professor Patrick Beach of Harper College inspects Terri Edmunds' Salmon dish during the Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Dominic Vitto, contestant Chuck Federici's grandson, is decked out in his cooking outfit during the Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Contestants Louann Zundel and Michael Pennisi grab for their ingredients during the Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Daily Herald Assistant Vice President/Director of Strategic Marketing and Innovation, Eileen Brown welcomes a packed house for the Second Annual Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Contestant Terri Edmunds and her sous chef Ron Nunes plate their dish.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Winner Michael Pennisi is congratulated by runner-up Louann Zundel.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Standing in the center among contestants and judges is winner Michael Pennisi of Carpentersville, named Cook of the year 2012 at the culmination of the Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Daily Herald Food Editor Deborah Pankey receives some comments from food judge Patrick Beach during the Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Eventual winner Michael Pennisi and his sous chef sister Mary Samycia work on their dish during the Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Michael Pennisi of Carpentersville is congratulated by Eileen Brown, Daily Herald Assistant Vice President/Director of Strategic Marketing and Innovation, after winning the Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Chuck Federici, right, and his sous chef brother John Federici, dish out some steamed brussels sprouts, during the Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Gallery Image

Ingredients for the Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off were Pomegranates, Brussels Sprouts, Greek Yogurt and Salmon.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off contestants from left, Terri Edmunds of Naperville, Chuck Federici of Hanover Park, Michael Pennisi of Carpentersville and Louann Zundel of Des Plaines learn about the secret ingredients.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Terri Edmunds of Naperville works on her Salmon Buerre Blanc with harissa sweet potatoes and warm brussels sprout salad, during the Cook of the Week Challenge Cook-off.

Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Gallery posted: 11/2/2012 12:01 AM

About this Gallery

Michael Pennisi of Carpentersville, who teaches at Schaumburg High, was named winner among four suburban cooks on Thursday night in a cook-off for the title Daily Herald Cook of the Year 2012. They had one hour to prepare a dish using the "secret ingredients' -- salmon, pomegranates, Brussels sprouts and Greek yogurt.
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