Picture of Hill and Hepner courtesy of Havasu Regional Well being care Center
When Trula Hepner designed the choice to enter the Lake Havasu Hospitality Affiliation’s Finest Chef competitiveness, she had simply two goals: “Don’t embarrass you and don’t get booted out within the to start out with spherical,” she claims.
It seems that Hepner, director of meals and nourishment at Havasu Regional Skilled medical Centre in Arizona, and chef Hayley Hill considerably surpassed these objectives—they obtained the competitors, beating out 20 neighborhood locations to eat within the perform, which was patterned quickly after Meals Community’s “Chopped.”
“Foodservice in hospitals is appeared down upon as not fairly superior,” suggests Hepner. “We had been being the one medical middle competing, and shifting into the opposition served us get the phrase out that we put together dinner beautiful meals gadgets on this article that nourishes the physique and soul.”
The crew’s appetizer did much more than get the phrase out—it earned their entry into the occasion. Hepner and Hill equipped 750 servings of mint-marinated watermelon topped with crispy pork abdomen glazed with a tangy, sticky sauce. They skilled given the recipe a check out function with the kitchen space crew on the medical middle, and tasters gave it a thumbs up.
Forward of they extremely developed into the initially spherical, Hepner and Hill arrived up with a online game technique. All of the groups had been licensed to enter neighborhood pantry and fridge and determine on out create, dairy merchandise, spices and staples, so “we tried to think about of parts that may go very nicely with any protein we’d get within the secret field,” claims Hepner. “Once we obtained the field, we had been ready.”
For the to start out with spherical, the thriller field contained frozen shrimp, sea beans, dehydrated black trumpet and cremini mushrooms and raw ramen noodles.
“We soaked the mushrooms and sea beans in extremely scorching h2o to leach out among the salt,” she suggests. “In the meantime, we sauteed the shrimp in butter, white wine and lemon, and cooked the bacon to include a crunchy part. Bacon makes something larger!”
The crew additionally manufactured an apple, celery and fennel salad dressed with olive oil and lemon. They piled the salad, shrimp, mushrooms, beans and cooked noodles within the middle of a plate and “made it search pretty,” claims Hepner. “That ramen salad purchased us to the longer term and closing spherical.”
Heading into the subsequent spherical, Hepner and Hill “obtained the lay of the land” and felt extra relaxed and had rather more thrilling, she suggests. This time, the thriller field contained candy potatoes, canned chipotles in adobo, cream cheese and a dangling beef tender.
“We manufactured a dry rub for the meat with ancho chile, citrus, smoked paprika, onion and garlic powders, and salt and pepper,” Hepner factors out. Following searing it on the grill, the duo sliced the meat skinny on the bias and established it aside.
To take care of the candy potatoes, they sliced them on a mandoline, usual the slices right into a circle and fried them on the flat main as the muse for a potatoes Anna-model side. Then they blended the product cheese with heavy product and orange juice for a quick cream sauce. The remaining factor was a ragout cooked down with caramelized Vidalia onions, scallions and shallots, porcini mushrooms and heirloom tomato concasse.
Forward of plating, Hepner and Hill completed off the seared steak slices on the flat tops, deglazing the meat with tequila and lime. Then they sauced the plate, added the candy potatoes on high rated and the steak to the side, spooning the ragout across the beef.
The Lake Havasu Hospitality Affiliation ran the opposition to raise scholarship cash for vital faculty college students who wish to go after culinary professions. During the opposition, two of those school college students ended up assigned to simply about each culinary crew as “runners” to get parts, knives and different necessities.
HHS, Havasu Regional Healthcare Middle’s guardian enterprise, encourages employees to get involved of their communities, and Hepner is continually gung-ho. She’s participated in most cancers walks and different fundraisers, however this culinary opposition genuinely showcased her skills of her crew, which can proudly present the 2 prizewinning recipes at an impending Board of Trustees night meal.
“We’ve got been questioned to copy the 2 profitable dishes for the celebration,” Hepner states.