Robert’s Culinary Throw Down 2020

This post features information provided by Chad Kyle, executive chef, Parkview Regional Medical Center.

Just over a year ago, I started teaching culinary classes, called Culinary Foundations, to our Parkview cooks and hosts. It's a 6-week course with over 15 hours of hands-on learning. Upon graduation, they receive a certificate and a Culinary Foundations chef coat, which they can wear at work. Last year, we had about 50 graduates and one of them, Robert Sain, suggested we should have a cook off between the graduates.

Parkview Chefs

And so, Robert’s Culinary Throw Down was born. From the latest class, we had two teams of three compete. They were each asked to prepare a chicken dish with a sauce, vegetable and starch, and incorporate a secret ingredient – eggplant – which was announced at the beginning of the throw down. The competitors also had to utilize three of the disciplines they learned in our classes.

Parkview Chefs

Robert emceed the event, which added an extra element of fun. Our judges were Wes Oburn, corporate director, Nutrition Services, Andrew Lockwood, director, Nutrition Services and Tony West, manager, Service Excellence.

After all the chopping, sautéing and plating was complete, our winning team was French Toast Mafia! They’ve kindly shared the recipe for the Pan Seared Airline Chicken Breast that earned them the trophy.

French TOast Mafia

Pan Seared Airline Chicken Breast with Cherry Chipotle Gastrique accompanied by Roasted Eggplant Orzo Pilaf and Braised Kale
By team French Toast Mafia

Chipotle Fruit Gastrique

2 cups strawberry puree
2 cups dark cherries
2 cups raspberries
2 cups water
2 ancho chilies
2 ounces sugar
1 teaspoon lime zest

1. Add all ingredients but the sugar and zest together in a saucepan and reduce by half. 

2. Once reduced, transfer to a blender. Blend and strain back into the pan.

3.  Add the sugar and heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lime zest.

Chicken Breast Seasoning

1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon ancho powder
1 tablespoon salt

1. Combine seasoning ingredients. Rub generously onto the outside of the chicken breast and cook to your liking.

Braised Kale

½ pound bacon
¼ cup shallots, diced into small pieces
2 cloves garlic
2 pounds kale
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons butter

1. Sauté the bacon until crispy. To the pan, add shallots and garlic and sauté for 2 min. 

2. Add the kale, chicken stock and apple cider vinegar to the pan and braise for 8-10 minutes. 

3. Turn off the heat, add the butter and stir slowly.

Roasted Eggplant Risotto

1 eggplant, diced into large pieces
Oil, as needed
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups orzo
½ cup parmesan
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Toss the diced eggplant in oil and garlic and roast for 5 minutes. 

2. Bring the chicken stock to a boil and add the orzo. Cook to al dente.

3. Combine the eggplant and orzo. Add parmesan to create a creamy texture to the orzo and season, to taste.

 

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