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MenuDirections 2013 Day 2: Culinary Competition

The first culinary competition at MenuDirections offered an afternoon of great food and friendly competition between market segments.

For MenuDirections' first culinary competition one team of chefs from four market sectors—B&I, colleges, healthcare and senior living—competed in a market basket competition. The winners were awarded bragging rights and free registration to MenuDirections 2014 in Charlotte, N.C.

The compeititors (from left to right): UCLA's Kevin Aiello and NJIT's Peter Fischbach (C&U team), Corporate Image Dining Services' Sal Cantalupo and Golden Living's Mickey Sellard (B&I team), Jose Zuluaga of ACTS Retirement Life Communities and James Roth of Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare (senior living team), and Darrick Henry of Baylor Orthopedic & Spine Hospital and Brent Lewis of St. Joseph’s Hospital (healthcare team).

The competition's judges (clockwise, from top left): Pat Cobe, senior editor for FSD's sister publication Restaurant Business; Annemarie Vaupel, product manager at Hormel; Erik Henry, director of foodservice for Bush Brothers; Andrew Hunter, corporate chef for Kikkoman; and Newman Miller, corporate chef at Bunge Oils. Read about Pat Cobe's experience as a judge by clicking here.

Chefs could choose from a market basket of basics such as those pictured here, in addition to the sponsor-provided product of pork, beans, Asian sauces and cooking oils.

Emcee Stephen Gerike, director of food service marketing for the National Pork Board, kept the teams on time and the crowd going, even after coming directly from butchering two whole hogs earlier in the day.

Mickey Sellard gets the B&I team's dish cooking.

James Roth gets the senior living team's prep work done.

Plating doesn't look too stressful for the senior living team of James Roth and Jose Zuluaga.

The senior living team's pork tenderloin with caramelized crust sliced over a black bean and garbanzo pancake with sautéed tomatoes and pickled red onions and oranges.

The B&I team of Sal Cantalupo and Micky Sellard carefully assembles its plates for judging.

The B&I team's stuffed pork tenderloin was plated in slices to show off the colorful carrot-apple-onion stuffing accompanied by crispy black bean and pinto cakes and wasabi-sauced greens.

The C&U team of Kevin Aiello and Peter Fischbach make sure every plate is perfect for the judges.

The C&U team deviated from the crowd and chose center-cut pork loin instead of tenderloin. Their plate featured lightly crusted pork slices over a bean ragout, topped with a tangy orange-apple slaw, all drizzled with wasabi and orange sauces.

The healthcare team of Brent Lewis and Darrick Henry put the finishing touches on its dish.

The healthcare team's upscale take on pork and beans, which featured saucy beans infused with vegetables, diced apples and a blend of several Asian sauces. This comfort food with a twist was named the winner of the competition at the Awards Banquet.

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