The Southern Living Taste of Charleston, hosted by the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, Inc (GCRA). A 3-day event held September 25-27 showcasing taste-tempting delights served by Charleston restaurants. And new for this year, also featuring the Cooking Well Invitational, a cooking competition between hospital dietary teams celebrating their efforts to make food good and good for you.
The Cooking Well Invitational first started two years ago with huge support from presenting sponsor, Sodexo, and additional support from Coca Cola Consolidated. The goal was to allow Golden Apple awarded hospitals the opportunity to showcase what they’ve learned in transforming hospital food from so, so to so good. For the past two years, the culinary crown has gone to Greenville Health System Oconee Medical Campus, a Sodexo team and facility. “We’re so proud of our teams that have won the Cooking Well Invitational the past two years,” said Hunter Kome, president of the GHS Oconee Medical Campus. “Almost three years ago, in partnership with our dietary provider Sodexo, we removed sugary beverages and deep fryers, put healthy options in our vending machines and revamped our menu to include wellness options at every serving station in our café.” And the competition has been fierce with 4-5 member teams coming from hospitals all over the state all vying to show just how good their food is. Brock Elder was on the winning team from Oconee last year. “It was a great experience to go up against other hospitals in South Carolina. There was a lot of respect among the teams. At the end of the day we are all in this business because we have a passion for food and to better serve the patients of our hospitals,” said Brock. “Having the chance to showcase that we are more than just traditional hospital food makes us all feel better about what we do and helps to change people’s mentality about their hospital experience.”
Joining with the Taste of Charleston brings the healthy living, healthy eating message to a much broader audience, one of the goals of the competition in trying to impact the health of our communities. April Howe, Clinical Dietitian at GHS Oconee Medical Campus, has been proud of her involvement. “As a Dietitian, it’s awesome to see people so engaged in the promotion of health and wellness. The Invitational is a great way to showcase statewide efforts for healthy living. Golden Apple hospitals across the state come together to compete, all bringing creative, attractive, tasty, and healthy dishes.”
The partnership with the Taste will bring a full weekend line up of entertainment for the competing teams and the hospital community who will come out to support them. A full range of events and hotel packages will be available through the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Save these dates and keep visiting the Taste’s website for constantly updated information. We’ll see you in Charleston in September.