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North Shore University Hospital cooks up win at Northwell Chefs Challenge

North Shore University Hospital’s Gyalsten Ethenpa, Paul Choe, Nicholas Rappa, Janisa Freycinet and Laura Zelenka Dufresne, RD, with their winning dishes from the 2019 Northwell Health Ultimate Chef Challenge.
North Shore University Hospital’s Gyalsten Ethenpa, Paul Choe, Nicholas Rappa, Janisa Freycinet and Laura Zelenka Dufresne, RD, with their winning dishes from the 2019 Northwell Health Ultimate Chef Challenge.

Five teams battle for top chef honors

GLEN COVE, NY —

Northwell Health’s quest for a quality dining experience has spawned healthy competition among its hospital chefs. Five teams entered the “kitchen stadium” that Northwell created for its Ultimate Chef competition and the four-person team from North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) in Manhasset came out victorious in the eighth annual cook-off.

Teams from throughout Northwell competed and were pared down to a final five. Those kitchen crews, which consisted of three chefs and one registered dietitian, faced off on May 23 at Glen Cove Hospital’s Pratt Auditorium.

The top five teams – representing Huntington Hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, Long Island Jewish Valley Stream, NSUH and Southside Hospital in Bay Shore – had 90 minutes to cook healthy, three course meals. They were judged by Chef Bruno Tison, Northwell’s vice president and corporate chef; Nancy Copperman, RD, vice president of community health; Jacqueline Moline, MD, vice president of occupational medicine, epidemiology and prevention; and Eric Sieden, director of food and nutrition services at Glen Cove, Plainview and Syosset hospitals.

“The level of cooking and preparation skill demonstrated at this year’s Northwell Health Ultimate Chef Competition far exceeded that of last year,” Chef Tison said. “I was amazed by the different techniques that our chefs are using not only during this competition but, more importantly, to create healthy, enjoyable food for our patients. I look forward to seeing many of the dishes I was served on the menu in the coming months.”

Meals need to be low in sodium, fat

The nutritional criteria that needed to be met during this year’s Northwell Health Ultimate Chef Challenge was:

  • Appetizer needed to be less than 250 calories, have less than 250 milligrams of sodium and be less than 35 percent fat.
  • Entrée less than 450 calories, less than 500 milligrams of sodium and less than 35 percent fat.
  • Dessert less than 250 calories, less than 250 milligrams of sodium and less than 35 percent fat.

The three required ingredients this year were salmon in the appetizer course, filet mignon as the entrée and apple in the dessert.

NSUH’s winning entree included cured salmon with white asparagus puree, pickled white asparagus and watercress mousse; a filet mignon with sunchoke puree, blistered tomato on the vine, charred little gem, mushroom medley and mushroom demi-glace; and a poached lady apple with goat cheese mousse, rosemary cornmeal cookie, Fuji apple sauce and brunoise apple.

LIJ Valley Stream and the Orzac Center for Rehabilitation team took second with its salmon okonomiyaki, Eastern filet mignon and invisible apple care. Huntington Hospital’s third-place meal was crispy lemon herb salmon roulade, pan seared beef tenderloin and apple brioche bread pudding.

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