Iron Chef Competition Debuts
at Pine Run
Photos by Natalie Wi
Even in retirement communities, cooking has become serious business. Two professional chefs at Pine Run took a fantastic crack at leading their teams of residents and staff to winning the first Annual Iron Chef Competition held on the afternoon of September 18. Staged in the auditorium at the Pine Run Community Center, the event was a tasty scramble of entertainment in front of a live audience. Cheers erupted for both teams during the contest, but Team Fey (Villager Pat Fey, Life Enrichment Director Ceil Krajewski, and Chef Matt Meyers) emerged as victors in the culinary match-up.
The competitors did not know what specific meats or grains would be presented for the bout, and the final ingredient was also top secret until announced by emcee Joe Baj, Sr. Director of Dining Services. A bounty of mushrooms, ranging from large meaty portobello to velvety oyster varieties, turned out to be the secret ingredient required for each dish. Second place Team Rodel (Villager Laura Rodel, Director of Housekeeping Chris Garges, and Chef Bill Montanari) won raves from the judges for whipping up an apple fritter dessert incorporating mild straw mushrooms,maple cream, and a touch of cinnamon.
Each team had an hour to plan and prepare three dishes for the panel of judges lead by Doylestown Hospital CEO Jim Brexler, Pine Run Executive Director Cathleen Stewart, Health Center Administrator Annie Cantymagli, and Lakeview Personal Care Administrator Barbara Dumas. Mr. Brexler expressed that he was impressed with the teamwork on display throughout the competition and that the distinctive aromas were making him hungry. Ultimately, the panel judged the food on taste, recipe creativity, and quality of presentation.
Annie Cantymagli found two dishes, each complemented with mushrooms, to be remarkable – a succulent shrimp appetizer served with a well-balanced chili cream sauce and a chicken entree finished with sautéed spinach and a horseradish mustard cream sauce.
“It’s amazing to see how interactive our culinary teams can be when the heat is turned up during competition,” said Joe Baj, Senior Director of Dining Services at Pine Run. “It’s a lot of fun, and it is nice to see the creative edge sparked by the drama of the event. The recipes produced today will make their debut on the Pine Run dinner menu.
Energies exhausted, and cheeks aglow, the winning threesome on Team Fey beamed when presented with their shimmering gold Iron Chef Pan trophies. For more information, on happenings at Pine Run, click
or call 800-992-8992.