Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough Wins 3rd Annual LTC Culinary Challenge

Rima Daudaraviciene, Cook, Karen Marble, Food Service Director, and Jacob Worden, Food Service Worker II of Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough were this year’s winner of the Frying Pan trophy in MHCA’s third annual LTC Culinary Challenge …cooking for a cause, to benefit the Mike McNeil Scholarship Fund (Fund). The team also won the Best Overall Soup/Chowder Award. On Saturday, October 6th at Southern Maine Community College, the Maine Veterans’ Home team, along with 6 other culinary teams representing member nursing homes and assisted living facilities from around the state, showcased their talent and creativity to help raise over $2500 for the scholarship fund!

Teams consisted of two cooks and one team manager who prepared a three-course meal using pork tenderloin supplied by Sysco. Teams had two hours to complete the task and were judged on a 100-point scale by a team of certified chefs, which included Sysco Corporate Executive Chef Gary Sheldon and Phyllis Flaherty, CEC, CCE, Chef Geoffrey Boardman, CEC, from the Southern Maine Community College, Chef Kendra Stanley, Personnel Chefs Inc, Chef Ralph Coughenour, Foodservice Director, Dartmouth College. While the judges were impressed by all the teams’ efforts, Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough won the competition with the following menu: Soup/Chowder: Beet Soup/Baked Squash Bowl; Entree: Kale baked haddock served with sautéed asparagus and pumpkin risotto, and a spring mix/jicama salad; Dessert: Baked apple-break pudding.

MVH -Scarborough Team received the MMSF Frying Pan Trophy, a $300 gift certificate to Direct Supply, and a grand prize of two continuing education courses donated by the Southern Maine Community College, one in baking and one in fundamental cooking (one day each). Taking second place and a $175 gift certificate to Direct Supply was the Mt. St. Joseph Team of Dusty Mcarthur, Cook, Scott Pearl, Director of Nutritional Service, and Brian Witham, Assistant Chef. The Third place trophy and a $125 gift certificate to Direct Supply went to Seal Rock/Inn at Atlantic Heights Team of Ramunas Daudaravicius, Chef, Bill Stanton, Director of Food & Beverage, David St. Marie, Executive Chef.

In addition to the Best Overall Soup/Chowder won by MVH-Scarborough, Best Overall Entrée award went to the Mt. St. Joseph team, and Best Overall Dessert, went to Fallbrook woods team of Susan Kezal, Director of Dining & Nutrition Services, David Lindall, Cook, and Patrick Montanese, Cook. Every team received a certificate of appreciation and gift bag.

The Culinary Challenge is proudly sponsored by MHCA/MHCA Business Services and our business partner, Sysco Northern New England, with generous contributions from Southern Maine Community College Culinary Arts program, BerryDunn, as well as Sysco manufacturers Pinnacle Food Brokers and Fusion Sales.

We would also like to thank all the participants for making this event a great success. They are:

Maine Veterans’ Home, Machias: Wendy Candelmo, Nutrition Services Director, Jason Cilley, Head Cook, Brian Davis, Head Cook.
Orchard Park & Edgewood Rehab & Living Centers, Farmington: Donna Boyce, Cook, Bridget Kurts, Food Service Director, John Wilbur, Cook
Russell Park Rehabilitation & Living Center, Lewiston: Kirt Leblanc, Head Chef, Tim Shannon, Cook, Robin Tibbetts, Chef

Each week, we will feature a team from the competition until we have showcased all of the talented food service professionals who contributed to the success of this event.
We offer our special thanks to Sysco Executive Chef Gary Sheldon for donating his time to organize the competition. He not only developed the contest rules, he spent considerable time planning, meeting with the teams, securing judges and managing the event onsite.

Since its inception in 2007, the scholarship fund has enabled 42 individuals to pursue their educational goals in long term care. Eligible fields of study include nursing, physical or occupational therapy, speech pathology, social work, activities and food service. We are especially pleased to note that this year’s event was covered by WMTW Channel 8. Click here to see news story and subsequent online photo album at
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Staff Contact:
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Manager of Business & Information Services

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