Healthcare chefs win culinary competition at MenuDirections

Rick Farmer, executive chef for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and Stephanie Powers, executive chef of Spring Harbor, a retirement community in Columbus, Ga., were crowned the winners of MenuDirections’ 2018 Culinary Competition.

Split into teams of two, chefs had 60 minutes to prepare and plate their own entrees using a preselected basket of ingredients such as beans, mushrooms and orange sauce. Each dish was judged on its presentation, taste and creativity.

The winning dish was orange glazed pork with a black bean and wild mushroom cake topped with an orange gremolata. Chef Farmer said the dish was inspired by the patients he cooks for at St. Jude.

“I get a lot of requests from kids all over the world for different foods. They may go seven days without eating something,” Farmer said. “I’ll go see if there’s anything I can make for them to get them to eat. Usually it’s a meal from their mom or grandmother, so we have to start pulling things out of our hats. This dish absolutely represents a dish we might make for a patient on any given day.” 

MenuDirections, FoodService Director’s annual conference, was held March 4-6 in New Orleans.

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