On June 8th dietetic interns from the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University competed in their annual year-end cook-off. Lorraine Danowski, Associate Director of Dietetic Internship, modeled the competition on the popular TV series Food Network. Choppedand a partnership with the Gastronomy of the university hospital staff to host the competition in his kitchen.
This year’s competition was dedicated to a dietetic intern who passed away shortly before completing her certification. The interns made T-shirts to remember Nathalia Aldovinoa loving mother of three children.
Managing Director Jim Kellenberger coordinated the Chopped cook-off with Danowski to prepare the students for this fast-paced cooking competition. “I love the Chopped competition and working with the nutrition interns to create recipes and give them a glimpse into the inner workings of our commercial kitchen. Just a few months ago, they were working on a simple recipe for hospital visitors and are now preparing for the next step in their careers with three-course meals,” says Kellenberger. Each team grabbed their apron after being assigned either a plant-based protein or a dessert mystery ingredient by chef Kellenberger.
Seven teams participated in this team building activity. Five of the teams mainly focused on developing plant-based recipes with different proteins such as jackfruit, impossibleTM Meat, tofu or fish and Pulled Oats®. Two teams created desserts with chocolate and avocado or chia seeds.
Kathleen Logsdon Carrozza, Assistant Director of Food and Retail Services, was one of the judges for the competition and stated, “This year has been really interesting to watch the interns prepare new vegetarian proteins. Some of the ingredients were items that neither of us had experience cooking or eating. I am so proud of the interns and their creativity in preparing these delicious dishes. In the end, we all learned something about the plant-based protein trend and discovered some really tasty recipes!”
The interns had ten minutes to plan and an hour to prepare their food and put it on their plates. Thereafter, The judges rated the food based on taste, creativity, presentation and use of ingredients. “It was fun to compete with the other interns. My team got chia seeds soaked in almond milk, so instead of the traditional oatmeal chia seed recipe, we made chia seed cupcakes with chia seed frosting and it turned out better than expected! They’re high in protein and fiber, which adds a great flavor to the dessert,” explained Brianna Renda, dietitian.
In addition to Carrozza and Kellenberger, the judges included Patricia Murray, FSA Human Resources Manager; Denise Malandrino, Executive Chef at University Hospital; Ron Stegner, operations manager for catering at the university hospital; and Elizbeth Seaman, Division Chief of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine.
All of the Interns used their time wisely and created delicious meals impress the jury with their cooking skills. Team Broccoli Spears’ Carolyn Kenney ’22 made Baja fish tacos with her partner and commented, “Chopped was a really great way to bring the dieticians together for one last friendly competition before graduation.”
Awards this year were given to two teams that won in the Proteins category and one team that won in the Desserts category.
- Alyssa Decarmine ’22 and Carolyn Kenney ’22 from Team Broccoli Spears made a sea bass recipe and won the Best Small Plate Protein category.
- Team Jevity’s Alicia Wright ’22 and Amanda Matos ’22 made a tofu recipe and also won the Best Small Plate Protein category.
- Kelly Tahlor ’22, Jaime Farrell ’22 and Brianna Renda ’22 from the Gut Busters team made a recipe using chia seeds and won Best Dessert.
The students completed the program on June 10 and created lasting memories. “I am very proud of all the nutrition interns and the recipes they have prepared using the mysterious ingredients. This group is our 24thth Completion of the dietetic internship class and the 10thth Great to take part in this competition,” said Danowski.