Chefs Showcase Self-Op Excellence in Healthcare and Senior Dining and Receive Top Culinary Honors at 2023 AHF Culinary Competition

By Christin Swingle posted 08-15-2023 10:01


The Association for Healthcare Foodservice (AHF) announced the gold, silver and bronze medal culinary team winners of the 2023 AHF Annual Culinary Competition. Gold medal winners Jared Hunter and Peter Heine of MD Anderson Cancer Center were presented with their gold medals at the Culinary Reception during the AHF Annual Conference at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in Orlando, Florida.

Each of the five teams had to utilize a mandatory market basket concept and mystery ingredient. Teams were each required to select at least one item from Market Basket A and at least two items from Market Basket B in order to create their original recipe. Each market basket was carefully curated by the culinary competition committee to reflect local and seasonal ingredients such as key limes, blueberries, and Gulf shrimp. 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, revealed with 24 hours’ notice of the competition. This year’s mystery ingredient was yellow watermelon, which was selected for its unique flavor profile and its regional significance.

The 2023 Culinary Competition Winners are:

Gold Medal: Jared Hunter and Peter Heine of MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX). Dish Name: Red Curry Shrimp with Farro Plantain Cake

Silver Medal: Dusty Cooper and Emily Glass of Johns Hopkins Health System (Baltimore, MD). Dish Name: Pan Seared Grouper with Citrus Corn Salad and Broccoli Mole

Bronze Medal: Benjamin Robinett and DeCleasha Martin of INTEGRIS Health Baptist (Oklahoma City, OK). Dish Name: BBQ Dry Rub Hickory Smoked Shrimp with Guava Farro

Honorable Mention: Brian Dixson and Brianne George of Geisinger Medical Center (Muncy, PA). Dish Name: Pan Seared Grouper over Blueberry Infused Farro

Honorable Mention: G. Dugan Wetzel and Jesse Shirley of Eskenazi Health (Indianapolis, IN). Dish Name: Duo Plate of Mojo Gulf Shrimp and Hanger Steak

The judges for the 2023 AHF Culinary Competition were:


·       Joseph Berta, CEC, Executive Chef, Banquets, Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate

·       Christopher Bates, MA CTE, CCE, Program Director, Magnet Academy of Culinary Arts at Wekiva High School

·       Rick Farmer, CEC, 2019 AHF Culinary Competition First Place Winner

·       David Brue, CEC, 2021 AHF Culinary Competition First Place Winner

·       Adam Schloemer, CEC, 2022 AHF Culinary Competition First Place Winner

About AHF

Formed in 2009, the Association for Healthcare Foodservice is composed of food and nutrition professionals from facilities that are self-operated (independent). AHF provides the professional network, resources, and tools to promote self-operated foodservice and hospitality in healthcare, senior dining, and related industries. AHF is committed to providing high-quality, nutritious, and comforting meals to those in our care: Our patients and their families.