The Medical University of South Carolina claimed the title of 2015 champion at the Cooking Well Invitational, part of the Southern Living Taste of Charleston weekend September 25-27. Providence Orthopedic Hospital took second place in the competition and Tidelands Health placed third. Culinary teams from Baptist Easley Hospital, Palmetto Health, The Regional Medical Center, Greenville Health System Oconee Memorial Hospital, Greenville Health System Laurens County Memorial Hospital, and Beaufort Memorial Hospital also competed.
The Cooking Well Invitational celebrates the work of hospital chefs in creating and serving healthful, delicious, and affordable food to patients and the communities they serve. All teams were eligible to compete because they had earned Gold Apple status for excellence in creating workplace environments where healthy eating is the easy choice. The teams were tasked with creating a meal for under $5 per plate consisting of an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert. The meal also had to meet strict nutritional requirements, include at least two cooking methods, and be prepared in less than 90 minutes.
The culinary event, now in its third year, was held in partnership with the Culinary Institute of Charleston, who manages the judging and the competition. Judge Randy Williams, an instructor with the Culinary Institute, was impressed with the quality and presentation of the plates this year.
“South Carolina hospitals are putting the hospitality back into health care,” said Williams. “I’ve been judging this competition for three years and they really stepped up your game this year.”
MUSC’s award-winning dishes included parma ham with figs; seared pork tenderloin with shitake and onion confit, sweet potato cake, and chimichurri jus; and a deconstructed banana split.
The Invitational was just one of two events spotlighting hospital culinary arts at the Taste of Charleston weekend. On Friday night Chef Katie Lorenzen-Smith of Tavern and Table in Charleston and Chef Fred Bennett of Trident Health combined forces to create a meal that crowned them champion of the Iron Chef Competition.
Both events were made possible by presenting sponsor, Sodexo, and their quality of life services.