Hospital Chefs Face Off And The Winner Is…Beef

We have to say we were slightly surprised by this year’s winner of the annual Massachusetts Health Council’s “Best Chef of the Healthcare Industry Awards,” a unique face-off between dueling local hospital chefs that goes far beyond canned pears and watery broth.

The year’s top prize went to Children’s Hospital Boston for “a dish of cabernet braised beef short rib topped with a red wine marinade and an apple slaw, served with hot spiced apple cider. The Children’s Hospital Boston chefs also provided guests with a complimentary apple butter,” according to a PR dispatch. The full recipe is here.

But wait. Where are the greens? The whole grains? And ribs and red wine, really? Is that truly what we want our recovering patients to be feasting on? On the other hand, maybe a dish like this might speed recovery.

Indeed, last year’s winner was meat-based as well: Southcoast Health System received top honors for its whole wheat baguette topped with a poached pear, truffle oil, and a rare beef tenderloin with micro-greens and gorgonzola cream. (Do micro-greens counteract the effects of gorgonzola cream?) However, from Children’s last year, came a second-prize-winning fish dish: a pan seared miso black cod with edamame hummus, sweet potato hay and carrot orange pear glaze.

I asked the person doing PR for the event what the deal was with the veggie-less winning dish? She said there were health related guidelines that each chef had to follow. Here they are:

Each team had to prepare 500 portions of a “tasting” size appetizer of their choice, conforming to the following:

· Each portion had to weigh 4-5 oz.

· Less than 10% of the total calories can come from Saturated Fat

· No transfat were allowed in the dish

A dietary label also had to be provided at each station, including all the ingredients.

Ok, all good. But how about something vegan next year guys? Quinoa anyone?

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