SILVER SPRING, MD---In Texas, it's homemade barbecue. In Louisiana, it's fresh gumbo. But in Maryland, crab soup is undoubtedly king.
Marylanders have taken advantage of the Chesapeake Bay's famous blue crabs to create homemade recipes that feature "secret" blends of spices and ingredients. This tradition was celebrated at the Crab Soup Cook-Off, a highlight of the prestigious 46th Annual Maryland Seafood Festival at Sandy Point State Park on September 7-8.
So when the culinary team of Riderwood, the Erickson Living retirement community, entered recipes in three categories, it was done knowing the high standards of Maryland crab soup connoisseurs. Sponsored by The Capital, the 2013 competition featured a star-studded field of sixteen restaurants from across the state.
Under the leadership of Executive Chef Victor Cirrincione, Team Riderwood won first place for its entry in the Best Vegetable Crab category (People's Choice). The team also earned second place honors in the Best Cream of Crab (People's Choice) and Best Vegetable Crab (Judge's Choice) categories.
In its five years of participation in the Crab Soup Cook-Off, Riderwood has finished in the top three an amazing sixteen (16) times, including six (6) first-place awards.
"The Maryland Seafood Festival provides the perfect venue for Team Riderwood to showcase our culinary skills in front of a statewide audience," stated Chef Cirrincione. "But it's more than that. Our team takes great pride in the collective process of refining our recipes and respecting each other's abilities."
"For us, the Crab Soup Cook-Off has evolved into a tradition, a rite of passage for the different culinary professionals who join this competition," continued Chef Cirrincione. "It's especially rewarding to win the People's Choice Award because hundreds of guests with different tastes agreed that our vegetable crab soup was the best."
Led by Director Cathie Reichman, the Dining Service Department at Riderwood is composed of 600 employees. Its on-campus restaurants feature a wide variety of dining experiences from formal to casual for residents and employees. The department also includes a catering team that creates menus and prepares appetizers, meals and deserts for special events such as wedding receptions and private parties.
Held at Sandy Point State Park, the Maryland Seafood Festival is an Annapolis family tradition, featuring great food, live music, exhibits, arts and crafts. For more information, please visit www.mdseafoodfestival.com.
[caption id="attachment_70144" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Team Riderwood earned first place honors in the People's Choice Award for Best Vegetable Crab Soup at the 46th Annual Maryland Seafood Festival on September 7th. Pictured from left to right are the culinary professionals from the Dining Services Department of Riderwood: Willie Wanzer (Chef de Cuisine), Demetreus Wills (Sous Chef), Derrick Gregg (Chef de Cuisine), Evroy Wright (Chef de Cuisine), Victor Cirrincione (Executive Chef) and Carlos Gauna (Chef de Cuisine).[/caption]
About Riderwood: Riderwood is one of sixteen continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living. Located in Silver Spring, Maryland, the scenic 120-acre campus is home to more than 2,500 residents. Riderwood is the ideal greater Washington, D.C. retirement destination offering a true sense of community, convenience beyond compare and a sensible financial structure.