Healthcare Chefs Receive Top Culinary Honors at AHF 2022 Culinary Competition in Scottsdale, Arizona

By Christin Swingle posted 08-22-2022 16:24


Washington, D.C. – August 15, 2022 – The Association for Healthcare Foodservice (AHF) announced the gold, silver and bronze medal culinary team winners of the 2022 AHF annual Culinary Competition. Gold medal winners Adam Schloemer and Abelardo Villegas were presented with the top award at the Culinary Reception during the AHF Annual Conference at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Each of the five teams had to utilize a mandatory market basket concept and mystery ingredient. Teams chose either 1 item from Market basket A and 2 from Market basket B or chose 3 items in Market basket B to create their original recipe. Each original recipe was required to follow certain nutritional and cost guidelines and be appropriate to serve in the team’s operation, whether retail, catering, or patient feeding. All teams had to utilize the mystery ingredient which was revealed with only 24 hours’ notice of the competition. The 2022 mystery ingredient was yuca (also known as cassava root or tapioca root).


The AHF annual culinary competition is the top culinary showcase for all chefs in Healthcare and Senior Dining and “this competition raises the bar every year, exponentially” said Culinary Competition Committee chair and 2019 culinary competition winner, Chef Rick Farmer.



The 2022 Culinary Competition Winners are:


Gold Medal: Adam Schloemer, Abelardo Villegas, and Jennifer Ballance, Medical City Las Colinas (Irving, TX). Dish Name: Crusted Trout with Chipotle and Apricot.

Silver Medal: Dugan Wetzel, Jesse Shirley, and Antonino Gargano, Eskenazi Health (Indianapolis, Indiana). Dish Name: Deconstructed Vegetarian Tamale with Tomato Frito and Tomatillo Salsa

Bronze Medal: Jared Hunter, Peter Heine, and Stephen Sanchez, MD Anderson (Houston, Texas). Dish Name: Plant-Forward Navajo Fry Bread

Honorable Mention: Brian Dixson, Brianne George, and Emily Newhard, Geisinger Health (Muncy, Pennsylvania). Dish Name: Pan Seared Rack of Lamb, over a Southwest Hominy Cake, topped with a Tomatillo and Pickled Shallot Relish, finished with a Guajillo Infused Bordelaise Sauce.

Honorable Mention: Dusty Cooper, Sarah Wechsler, and Emily Glass, Johns Hopkins (Baltimore, Maryland). Dish Name: Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Posole.

The judges for the 2022 AHF Culinary Competition were:


  • Ryan Staroszik, Executive Chef, Mirabella at ASU
  • Mike Tueros, Director of Food and Beverage, Westin Kierland Resort and Spa
  • Rick Farmer, 2019 AHF Culinary Competition First Place Winner
  • David Brue, 2021 AHF Culinary Competition First Place Winner
  • Lenard Rubin, Executive Chef, Hilton Phoenix Resort at the Peak


Coming Soon: Be sure to visit the AHF Members Only Recipe Index to view the winning recipes (and many more)!