RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- The Valley Hospital’s John Graziano, Manager, Executive Chef, and Jason Nyman, Manager of Food & Nutrition of Patient Services, were the top winners at the national 2016 Association for Healthcare Foodservice (AHF) Culinary Competition in Dallas.
Graziano and Nyman were presented with gold medals and the top award (the Silver Plate) at the Gala Banquet during the AHF annual conference in early June for their winning dish entry, Tex-Mex Chicken & Waffles.
The annual competition has a format similar to Food Network challenges. There is a time limit of 75 minutes to prepare, cook and present the entrée and sides. Additionally, the winning dish had to use certain mandatory ingredients and had to fit within the stated guidelines: cost under $8 to produce and be appropriate to serve in a facility on a regular menu rotation, whether retail, catering or patient feeding. The teams and their dishes were judged on organization, culinary skills, taste and presentation.
The culinary competition is an AHF signature event where self-operated healthcare facilities across the country are afforded the opportunity to showcase their innovative and delicious meals. Part of AHF’s mission is to bolster the spirit of the best and brightest culinary talent and to provide an opportunity to showcase their skills and creativity.
This year’s competition took place at 3015 Trinity Groves, Dallas’ landmark culinary event venue known as an incubator for innovation and entrepreneurism.
The event not only raises the bar for healthcare foodservice, but also helps to change the public’s perception of hospital food. AHF’s culinary competition is a perfect illustration of healthcare foodservice having a positive impact and making a statement about the entire facility.