Elkhart police chief and fire chief judge nursing home culinary competition on Wednesday at Greenleaf Health Campus

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By: Amanda Wilkinson
awilkinson@flavor574.com

Elkhart department chiefs experienced what it was like to be a resident at Greenleaf Health Campus at lunch-time on Wednesday.

Elkhart Fire Chief Chad Carey and Elkhart Police Chief Ed Windbigler were happy to be eating like kings for a few hours while they judged The Culinary Olympics, a Trilogy Health Services’ competition where chefs from 100 campuses were pitted against each other.

Part of the focus of the competition, Executive Director of Greenleaf David Henke said, was to dispel the idea that people in senior, independent and assisted-care living facilities are not eating well.

“Our goal is to break the paradigm of what you think of rehab institutions,” he said.

To do that, 13 chefs from area health campuses stuffed the two chiefs, who acted as judges for the competition, with food. Each chef prepared a three-course meal for judging. Carey joked at meal five that he was “starting to get full.”

“Going to need to walk some laps,” Wingbigler laughed.

The two said they didn’t have any strategy coming into the competition. After this, Carey said he was developing a strategy because he and Windbigler went too fast too soon.

“It’s a marathon,” Windbigler said.

The competition broke down the barrier of what they traditionally thought of as food served at these types of institutions, Carey said.

“These chefs are obviously very talented. If this is what they’re feeding their residents, they’re doing good,” Windbigler said.

Before tasting all of the meals, the two agreed that one of their favorite dishes was a smoked meatloaf with tomato soup.

The chiefs and two Greenleaf residents judged the regional competition meals for taste, presentation and creativity. The gold, silver and bronze winners will go to the Trilogy championships.

Amanda Wilkinson is a reporter for the Elkhart Truth and writes for Flavor 574.
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