NC hospitals compete in culinary challenge

FoodService Director - news - NC hospitals compete in culinary challengeNOV. 3—A team of foodservice employees from UNC/Rex Hospitals in Chapel Hill, N.C., were awarded first place in Cut to the Core, a healthy culinary competition sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation. Seven teams from North Carolina hospital foodservice departments competed in the event, which was held at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 29.

Cut to the Core highlighted ways in which North Carolina hospitals have promoted healthy eating in their facilities, according to NC Prevention Partners (NCPP), a nonprofit helping reduce preventable illness in the state. NCPP’s red apple designation is given to hospitals that have shown a commitment to creating healthy food environments for employees and visitors. Seventy-eight hospitals in North Carolina have been given the designation.

Each of the seven teams created a three-course meal for Cut to the Core. The criteria for the event was to create a menu that was healthy, delicious and affordable. The winning menu from UNC/Rex Hospitals was a Deconstructed Autumn Roll (braised beef machaca, avocado, fresh mango and baby greens garnished with a fried rice wrapper); fennel dusted shrimp with roasted tomato jus, zucchini enrobed quinoa, butternut squash succotash and an herbed pumpkin seed pesto; and a Neapolitan dessert sampler with strawberry yogurt mousse and low-fat cookies. The team included Ryan Conklin, Shawn Dolan, Jim McGrody and Angelo Mojica. Food Network chef Alton Brown presented the award to the Black Hat Chefs team from UNC/Rex Hospitals.

“The months of work in improving menus, changing recipes and focusing on healthy, delicious food was really evident in the energy and excitement each of these teams brought to the competition,” Anne Thornhill, NCPP senior manager for business development, said in a press release. “The chefs and their teams have clearly demonstrated how we can create healthy food environments while preparing food that is beautiful and delicious.”

Other teams to compete were, in order of finish: Pitt County Memorial Hospital (Aramark); Duke University, Duke Raleigh and High Point Regional Hospitals (Aramark); Forsyth, Wesley Long, New Hanover Regional and Cape Fear Hospitals (Sodexo); Duplin Memorial Hospital; Gaston Memorial Hospital, Inc. (Morrison); and Haywood Regional Medical Center.