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.”

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