Alzheimer’s Fundraiser "Culinary Challenge for a Cause"
7th Annual Culinary Challenge Held on November 30th
We had 10 communities participating at this wonderful culinary extravaganza and the food this year was outstanding! A salute to the wonderful chefs and the healthcare communities who donated their time, talent and resources to put on a Culinary event for Charity like no other. It was a festive November evening at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet with a culinary tasting, silent auction, artwork for sale, and celebrity judges. “We salute the chefs from the healthcare communities who make this wonderful food for their residents each and every day and we are so fortunate to showcase their talents at this event,” said RI Chapter Executive Director, Donna McGowan. Chefs from the 10 healthcare communities included Bayberry Commons, Benchmark Senior Living, Coventry Skilled Nursing and Rehab, South Kingstown Nursing and Rehab, the Village House, Eurest, Elderwood at Scallop Shell, Tockwotton on the Waterfront, Bethany Home, and The Seasons participated in the culinary tasting for the public and were also judged on their talents. An exciting panel of celebrity judges including: WPRI 12 Anchor Mike Montecalvo, a Top Fundraiser for the 2016 Newport Walk to End Alzheimer's Maura McCarthy, Johnson & Wales Chef Frank Terranova, Modern Artist Paul Cote, Craig Dwyer of the Lieutenant Governor's office, and Ken Rianna, owner of local Kentucky Fried Chicken branches and founder of the Irene Y. Rianna Memorial Foundation, Silver Sponsor of this year's Walk to End Alzheimer's were on hand to do the judging for Best Display and Best Taste.
The tastings from all of the chefs were over the “top.” The Judges’ Table winners were tied for “Best Display” with Bayberry Commons and Bethany Home of Rhode Island. The Judges Table winner for “Best Taste” was Benchmark Senior Living - Chefs David Silva and Steve Morrissette with their Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Cream and Derby Sage Cheese and Seared Shrimp wrapped in Prosciutto over Risotto. The people who attended the event got to vote as well for the famed People’s Choice Award which went to Bethany Home and Chef David Harris with his Shrimp Kataifi over a bed of Vietnamese Rau Ram Salad with Blood Orange Gastrique. Other tastings included Chef Jim Abenante of Coventry Skilled Nursing and Rehab who prepared Roasted Cod and Chorico Fish Cakes with Lemon Aioli over Kale Salad. Chef Angela Hornik of South Kingstown Nursing and Rehab who presented Jambalaya with Cheddar Corn Bread, Chef Jeff Simshauser of Village House with his Magical Mushrooms with a side of Psychedelic Shrimp, Chef Kevin Whitman from Tockwotton on the Waterfront with Brie and Raspberries in Puff Pastry, Elderwood at Scallop Shell's Chef John Hendrickson's NE Lump Crab Cake with Garlic infused Jumbo Shrimp served on a bed of Arugula Salad, and new this year to the Culinary Challenge, Chefs Ryan McDonald and Luis Mello of Eurest who served up an Earth Bowl and Sweet Potato Mouse Biscuit.
Let’s not forget the wonderful entertainment that evening from DJ Ray Arruda and his Dad who won the crowd with his swooning. A special thank you to Steve Donovan of the Heather and Steve show on Lite Rock 105 who donated his time as our Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Famous modern artist Paul M. Cote sold lovely artwork tiles and created beautifully hand painted driftwood. Many thanks to our sponsors and the Seasons for their delectable samples during the Cocktail hour. Again many thanks to all of the chefs, marketing staff, and food service support from all of the communities who volunteered to make our event a success. All of the proceeds will directly benefit programs and services for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. The Alzheimer’s Association raised more than ever this year, over $10,000 to support our 24/7 Helpline, support groups, early stage social engagement group, education and training, and our Annual Caregiver’s Journey conference coming up on April 21, 2017. All of our programs for families are free of charge thanks to your generous donations. Save the date for this year's Culinary Challenge to be held Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at the Rhodes on the Pawtuxet!