Hospital Chefs Show Off Their Chops in Cooking Competition

GLEN COVE, NY – Syosset Hospital chefs sliced their way through the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s “Ultimate Chef Healthy Entrée Challenge” competition on Thursday, placing first in the second annual cooking competition for their filet mignon marinated in chili pepper, tequila and lime juice with wild rice and celery root as well as a mango and jicama salsa dish.

 “It’s a great validation to be recognized for the meals we prepare at Syosset Hospital and for providing nutritious and tasty dishes to our patients,” said Syosset Hospital chef Russell Ficke, who took home the top prize along with chef Xavier Haynes.

 Mr. Haynes noted, “All of the chefs served up inventive meals today. It’s fun to have a day like this with some friendly competition that also shows off our quality work throughout the health system.”

 During last year’s competition, Syosset Hospital took third place. Chefs Aneesah Cox and Natrell Fisher from Staten Island University Hospital took second place this year for their chipotle-rubbed pork tenderloin with garlic brown rice pilaf, curry yogurt sauce, mango chutney and collard greens. Lenox Hill chefs Patricia Sobol and Johnny Beniquez were in third place with their shrimp dish that had a tomato saffron broth and a parsnip and celery root puree; chefs from Lenox Hill were in second place last year.

 Chefs from 13 of North Shore-LIJ’s hospitals and facilities diced, sautéed and blanched at Glen Cove Hospital’s Pratt Auditorium during the competition to create tasty, appealing and healthful dishes. The competition, which was held during National Nutrition Month, helps to show that hospital food can not only be healthful but it also surpasses the stereotypes of being bland and boring.

 During the competition, chefs had access to a pantry, stove top burners and a farmers’ market. Each team was given 45 minutes to make a nutritious and delicious meal that was rated by three judges -- Adrian Ashby, an administrative associate at North Shore-LIJ who competed on Food Network’s “Chopped”; Joyce Shukri, RD, a healthcare specialist at Sysco Foods; and Robert Graham, MD, a physician at Lenox Hill Hospital who specializes in complementary and integrated medical therapies. All of the dishes had to be no more than 500 calories, 15 grams of fat and 600 milligrams of sodium; health system registered dieticians evaluated these recipes.

 “People may not realize this but our patients often enjoy the food we prepare at our facilities and rank it alongside that of restaurants,” said Michael Kiley, director of nutrition and food services at Glen Cove Hospital and chair of the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s chef committee. He also organized the cooking competition. “Events such as this show that our staff can prepare diverse, tasty and nutritious meals for our patients to savor when they come to our facilities.”

 To see a video about the chef’s competition, go to .  

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