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Who’s Healthiest Chef?

Glen Cove Hospital’s Pratt Auditorium was transformed into a large kitchen on March 14, rivaling the set of a reality cooking show as teams of chefs from all 13 of North Shore-LIJ Health Care System’s hospitals gathered to compete in the second annual “Ultimate Chef Healthy Entrée Challenge” proving that hospital food can be both healthful and delicious. 

“A hospitalization can be a stressful time for a patient,” said Eugene Tangney, senior vice president and regional director for North Shore-LIJ, in addressing the chefs prior to the competition.  “We have a responsibility to help the patient though a difficult experience and make a little difference in their stay.”

For the competition, each team of two chefs had 45 minutes in which to prepare an original entrée and a side dish containing no more than 500 calories, 15 grams of fat and 600 mg of sodium, challenging them to build flavors without the use of excessive fats and salts. Chefs opened plastic “eggs” two minutes before their start time to discover the protein they had to use for their meal (either veal, filet of beef, tilapia, loin of pork, shrimp or tofu) and a “special ingredient” which had to be incorporated into the meal.  

Competing for Glen Cove Hospital were Food Service Supervisor Tony Meo and Lyndon Espiritu, assistant director of Food Service.  Espiritu is no novice to food competitions and holds the honor of being the 2010 winner of Premier Healthcare Alliance’s Culinary Creations Award for Top Chef in the healthcare food service industry.