WARMINSTER, PA - They sharpened their knives and tuned up their taste buds at Ann's Choice, an active adult continuing care retirement community in Warminster, during the community's First Annual Ann's Choice Top Chef Challenge. See exciting YouTube video of competition here: http://tiny.cc/k8dlxw
Residents and chefs teamed up and went head-to-head-to-head against each other in a foodie friendly, fun competition to see which resident and chef have the best cooking skills on campus.
The premise of Ann's Choice Top Chef Challenge is that each team, consisting of a resident and one of the community's chefs were asked to create the best entrée. Sound simple enough? To make it more interesting, mystery ingredients were unveiled shortly before the competition began. These ingredients which surprised the competitors had to be used in each entrée.
For this competition, the secret ingredients were a real eclectic mix...scallops, risotto, spinach, peaches and jalapenos
Participants had 30 minutes to create the meal and then plate it for optimal presentation, uniqueness and of course, taste. Judges determined who the winner was based on those three categories.
The three teams were:
Team # 1: Slicin' and Dicin'
Ann's Choice Chef Gary Bullard and resident Irv Gottenberg
Team # 2: Village Champions
Ann's Choice Chef Curtis Law and resident Bo Liberatore
Team # 3: A Rose Between Two Thorns
Ann's Choice Chef Lisa Sweeney and resident Terry Scorpio
And you can't have a cooking competition without judges! Ann's Choice Top Chef Challenge proudly welcomed three people who judged the fate of Slicin' And Dicin', Village Champions and A Rose Between Two Thorns.
He helped the Philadelphia Flyers win not one, but two Stanley Cup Championships in the 1970s. Joe Watson spent 11 seasons with the team manning the blue line as an integral part of the team's defense. Ann's Choice residents proudly welcomed Joe "Thunder Mouth" Watson to the community and competition.
The second judge was Sue Serio from Fox 29's Good Day Philadelphia. She helps get so many peoples' days started here in the Delaware Valley each morning. Prior to working for Fox, Sue worked for TV stations in Baltimore, MD and Buffalo, NY.
The third judge served as food editor for the Bucks County Courier Times for more than 20 years. Betty Cichy was previously a reporter for the newspaper covering news before she made the transition into the world of food writing. She is now retired, but still keeps active in her garden and by traveling.
Ann's Choice Executive Director Chris Donati said, "The culmination of Ann's Choice Top Chef Challenge is not only pure excitement, but it provided this community with a chance to show off the abilities and talents of its chefs and residents alike. At Ann's Choice, we have top-notch cuisine created by our experienced culinary staff. Everyone gets to witness first-hand the great techniques and recipes that make good eating!"
"We wanted to have a fun, friendly and food-filled competition," said Chris Babst, Ann's Choice director of dining services and co-host of the event along with Lisa Sicilia, Ann's Choice catering manager and Executive Chef Mark Diller. "The ingredients of this competition are one part skill, one part improvisation and one part teamwork - with the end result being all fun. We are proud of the food our talented chefs prepare at Ann's Choice and always look forward to input from residents who make invaluable suggestions."
After a food-filled, furious 30 minutes, it was time to see whose cuisine would reign supreme! Judges sampled the wonderful entrees and tallied up their scores. The voting was tight, but when the tabulation was complete there would be only one Ann's Choice Top Chef. The winner:
A Rose Between Two Thorns! Chef Lisa Sweeney and her partner Terry Scorpio won for their Caribbean inspired Tropical Poached Scallops over a bed of spinach & pine nut risotto finished with a jalapeño peach salsa & berry puree.
But according to the judges, all the contestants presented wonderful entrees, and it was a difficult choice to make because the dishes were so delectable.
Ann's Choice Top Chef Challenge is only one event out of the 155 different clubs, groups and activities that take place at the community. Ann's Choice has something for everyone looking to lead the active and engaged lifestyle in their retirement years.
About Ann's Choice: Ann's Choice is situated on a scenic 103 acre campus in Warminster, Pennsylvania. The community is home to approximately 2,000 residents, many of which reside in the 1,494 independent living apartment-style homes. Life at Ann's Choice offers a true sense of community and is an exciting alternative to the typical retirement community. Additional information about Ann's Choice can be found at www.ericksonliving.com.
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