The Association for Healthcare Foodservice has announced the finalists for its 2014 Culinary Competition, to be held held in conjunction with its annual conference in Orlando at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel on June 4th.

For the first time, the planning committee is throwing in a twist: finalists will be given a family of mystery ingredients, one of which must be added to their dish during the competition. This twist will account for five points during the judging.

The following teams will be competing:
Lemon Grass Poached Mahi Over a Black Bean Quinoa Cake, Jicama Grapefruit Avocado Salad, Refried Bean Crisp and a Salsa Verde
Steven Bressler, Retail Services Manager
John Graziano, CDM, CFPP, Executive Chef
The Valley Hospital
Ridgewood, NJ

Ranch Dusted Pork Loin with Black Bean Mole, Zucchini Corn Cake & Refried Bean Mille Feuille, Pickled Onion & Sweet Corn Puree
Timothy Gee, CEC, Executive Chef
Nicolas Mercogliano, CCC, Sous Chef
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
New Brunswick, NJ

Gluten Free “Rice and Bean” Raviolo with Shrimp and Cilantro Pesto Cream
Jessica Marchand, RD, LDN, Director of Food & Nutrition Services
Jennifer Leamons, Chef
WakeMed Health & Hospitals
Raleigh, NC

Santiago Bean Dusted Aged Filet served with a Crispy Sweet Potato & Cuban Bean Stuffed Pepper featuring a Pablano Pepper and Tomatillo Sauce
Robyn Butsko, Chef Manager
Bryan Boatman, Banquet Chef
Florida Hospital - Orlando
Orlando, FL

Bodacious Beans and Bass
Joanne McMillian, RD, Director
Aatul Jain, Retail Operations Manager and Chef
Saint Clare’s Health System
Denville, NJ

The winning dish must fit within the stated nutritional guidelines, cost under $7 to produce, be appropriate to serve in a facility on regular menu rotation (whether retail, catering or patient feeding) and of course be delicious. The teams and their dishes will be judged on organization, culinary skills, taste and presentation. The top three winners will be awarded prizes and medals.

“Our Culinary Competition shows the creativity, inspiration and innovation that is happening in self-operated healthcare foodservice,” says AHF Executive Vice President Billye Potts. “Our chefs deliver everything you would expect from a fine dining restaurant: fresh, flavorful dishes that are both savory and nutritious.”