Venison rules at culinary event

Published in FSD Update

The winning dish.

A venison quesadilla took the top prize at the second annual culinary competition staged by the Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services (OPRS). Chefs Stacy Chesney and Patrick Young, from Swan Creek Retirement Village, in Toledo, earned a gold medal in the ACF-sanctioned competition for their Pan-smoked Venison Quesadilla with Fire-roasted Corn, Sweet Red Pepper and Tomatillo Salsa with a Salvadorena Crema Blue Cheese Sauce.

The silver medal went to Mark Farno and Matt Williams, chefs at Mount Pleasant Retirement Village, in Monroe, for their Bourbon-glazed Salmon with Warm Quinoa Salad. Brian Lippiatt and Brian West, of Rocknyol, in Akron, took the bronze with Salmon Roulade with Scallop Mousse, Parisienne Potatoes and Vegetable Medley.

John Andrews, director of culinary and nutritional services for OPRS, says, “In today’s retirement communities, full-flavored, savory food is the attraction. OPRS chefs know their craft and are proud to create this kind of food every day. This event, which is open to the public, is a way to showcase their talent.”

Nine teams of chefs, from seven OPRS communities, competed in the event, which also included a silent auction, the proceeds of which went to the OPRS Culinary Training and Development Fund. The dishes created may have looked and sounded rich and expensive, but they were neither. All entries had to fit within certain nutritional guidelines, including coming in at less than 700 calories. In addition, they had to cost less than $8 to produce.

“Our residents are the real winners here,” says Andrews, who notes that entries usually make it onto the regular menus at the retirement communities. “[Residents] get tantalizing, sophisticated meals that are also healthier than they appear.”

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
business pamphlet fair show

As we struggle to recruit and retain millennials, we had our current millennial employees invite friends who don’t work for our organization to a Q&A session where we find out why our organization is or isn’t appealing to them, and what they are looking for in an employer. I recommend doing this off-site in a casual environment so you can get honest and open feedback that could be useful for better marketing.

Menu Development
pho bowl

Achieving authenticity can be tricky. Late last year, Oberlin College landed in the news when students protested the way dining services at the Ohio school was botching ethnic food, serving up inauthentic versions of Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. It’s a challenge other operators are confronting, too, often tapping staff and patrons for inspiration.

At 260-bed Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Scottish Rite, Executive Chef Bradley Czajka, himself of Polish-Ukrainian descent, started Global Stations as a way to recognize the diversity of cultures at the hospital. “We have such an...

Menu Development
sweet pea ravioli

On any given night at the Wake Robin senior living facility in Shelburne, Vt., residents may find spring sweet pea and mascarpone ravioli with white wine cream sauce or acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and cranberries on the menu. These dishes, along with a new sweet-potato burger topped with cilantro aioli, aren’t just delicious, says Director of Dining Services Kathy King. They’re also completely vegetarian.

The popularity of Meatless Mondays and the growing number of people who call themselves “flexitarians” have impacted menu development in every noncommercial sector. Although...

Managing Your Business
umass amherst food

Restaurateurs in Amherst, Mass., aren’t happy with UMass Dining .

Registered dietitian Dianne Sutherland told local NBC affiliate WWLP News in May that the high quality of food served on campus means students aren’t visiting neighborhood eateries as frequently as those businesses might like.

“Even our vendors who we work with, they get complaints from the restaurants that students are staying on campus,” she said. “They are already paying for the food; why should they [go] off campus to eat?” More than 19,000 Amherst students are on a meal plan—6,000 of whom live off campus...

FSD Resources