Sometimes finding gourmet food comes from an unexpected source. On Thursday night, over ten different health care providers and facilities came together for the 2016 Taste of Care. The Taste of Care is a friendly competition that allowed different chefs to show off their unique flair on cuisine, and raise money for Honor Flight Chicago.
Many of the organizations participating in 2016’s Taste of Care have been involved since it’s start in 2009. Since then the participants have been able to provide delicious food that many are unaware is available. Melissa Huffman, Director of Sales and Marketing for Residences of Deer Creek, explained that the Taste of Care allows their chefs to be put in the spotlight and for others to really see the talent that is out there within many of the hospitals and organizations that were present.
“It’s great to see so many organizations come to be a part of tonight, and that a lot of different people get to taste what’s out there,” Huffman stated. “We love this because we love showcasing what we have to offer. There’s a stigma out there about nursing homes and assisted living about the food that’s served, so it’s a eye opener to what really is out there.”
The competition was split up into different categories with the chefs either making an appetizer, entree, or dessert. Residences of Deer Creek’s team decided to enter in the dessert category - a category which they’ve participated in since the first event. RDC Chef Steven delivered a homemade tuxedo cheesecake and shaken martinis, which went along with their “007” theme, which won them Best Presentation.
While they decided to go with a well known theme, the chefs of Methodist Hospitals decided to showcase some classic ingredients. Pamela Ward, Sous Chef for Methodist Hospitals, has participated in the competition for the past four years and has won the past three trophies.
“Today we are serving shrimp and grits, smoked Alaskan salmon on a brie spread, and it’s topped with caviar. All of the flavors go well together, and we wanted to showcase something different,” Ward stated. “We love cooking in this event. This really allows us to show people that hospital food isn’t like it used to be, and they have to take the time out to come and try what we have to offer. This allows us to do it in one place and to try some new things.”
Many of the attendees were supporters of the chefs and their organizations, but many also came to see what the event had to offer. Therese Sills, who attended Taste of Care to support Honor Flight Chicago and in the memory of her father, who loved coming to the event with the program, stated that she didn’t know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised.
“Everything is great - I’m really surprised about how yummy everything is,” Sills stated. “There’s such a nice variety of food and flavors. This is definitely not food you would expect to come hospitals or senior facilities. It’s also great that they do this with so many veterans and seniors who all support Honor Flight, it’s a really unique night.”
In the end, all of the chefs delivered and wowed the crowd with their appetizers, entrees and desserts. Though only some walked away with trophies, the event demonstrated what these organizations really have to offer. Next year, there will be many new and exciting dishes to serve, but for 2016, the Taste of Care displayed the best and brightest in Northwest Indiana.