The team from St. Charles Hospital won the 6th Annual Big Apple Healthcare Culinary challenge held March 13th at the Institute for Culinary Education in Manhattan by The New York Chapter of the Association For Healthcare Foodservice (AHF). GMO-, hormone- and antibiotic-free free range turkey served as the challenge ingredient that had to be turned into a salad, appetizer and entrée dish in the iron chef style competition among three contending healthcare facilities, which included defending Champion New York Presbyterian Hospital, rookie participant Regal Heights Healthcare and second-time participant St. Charles.

The St. Charles squad was composed of Team Director Stephanie Giraulo and Chefs Bill Dougherty, Kim Marie Vargas and Mahindranath Maraj. Their winning dishes were
• Turkey and Shitake Mushroom in Herb Crepe (appetizer);
• Thai glazed Turkey Salad with avocado, orange in citrus vinaigrette (salad); and
• Turkey Pinwheel with Spinach and Sundried tomatoes served with Sweet Potato Latke and roasted cauliflower with balsamic glaze (entree).

The New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell team included Team Director Michael Williams and Executive Chefs Miriam Zamparelli, William Doyle and  Prashant Josse. They created
• a Turkey Roolade with Mushroom Duxelle and Apricot Compote (appetizer);
• Turkey a La'orange salad over baby arugula with honey and sherry vinaigrette (salad); and
• Asian Turkey- pan seared turkey breast with thai sweet chili glaze, served with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and tournee potatoes with Korean BBQ sauce (entree).

The third team, from Regal Heights Rehab and Health Center featured Team Director Kim Bunn-Minsky, Chefs Christelorme Laurore and Maria Manolatos, and Supervisor/Cook Yovanny Gomez. They prepared
• Turkey Bites on ziti served with red pepper sauce (appetizer)
• Grilled turkey strips, Asian Salad tomatoes, orange, pepper and mesclun (salad);
• Asian Turkey Meal with grilled turkey served with Jasmine rice and sauteed broccoli, cauliflower, sweet peas and carrots (entree).

An audience of almost a hundred healthcare foodservice professionals and food enthusiasts (critics, vendors, chefs, dietetic interns/students and media) had a blast from start to finish, with a kickoff of food vendor exhibits and food taste testing with cocktail hors d’oeuvres, ice desserts and various drinks/beverages courtesy of US Foods and Sysco. Then came the 60 minute adrenalin rush of contending healthcare culinary teams showcasing their team work, artistry and culinary talent, followed by the climax with expert judges announcing the team scoring the highest.

The panel of judges featured Chef Michael Salvatore from Sysco, Chef JT Pellicane, Jr., from BSE Marketing and James Briscione of the Institute of Culinary Education. The vendors supporting the event were US Food Service, Sysco, Borax, PBAC, the professional group Greater New York Hospital Association and the ICE (Institute of Culinary Education).