About 35 local residents came to the Atria Lynbrook supportive living facility on July 18 for the second annual Chef Showdown. Brian Glennon, the director of culinary services for Atria, went head-to-head against retired FDNY firefighter Andrew Winges and his wife, Beth, in a cook-off with a corny catch — each recipe had to include corn as an ingredient.
“I think it’s a great thing,” said Nathan Schafroth, the engage life director for Atria Lynbrook, who helped coordinate the event. “We try to get different serviceman to do it, so it’s worked out great the last couple of years.”
The event was part of a company-wide effort of similar outings for Atria across the United States and Canada throughout July, which was Culinary Arts Month.
A six-person panel was appointed to judge the competition. Participants included Atria residents Dan Applebaum and Lorraine Miller, Debra Robbins-Jean, a first grade teacher at Howell Road School in Valley Stream, and Wilfredo Mulero, Christopher Olavarria, and Jevon Schmitz, members of the U.S. Army Reserve.
The group based its judgments on the appearance, taste and use of ingredients for the food. The Winges made a corn dip with pork belly on top of it and also had a corn and Frito-crusted chicken and waffles dish topped with warm bourbon maple syrup. Glennon, who has been a chef at Atria Lynbrook for 14 years, countered with a steak and corn taco paired with corn soup. In the end, the Winges slightly edged Glennon, 100 points to 95.
The event has become an annual tradition for Atria Lynbrook, and Schafroth said he expects it to be held next year with continued involvement from service men and women. “I think it’s great to try and get the local community all involved to come here,” he said. “It’s just one day that we try to say thank you to them and it means a lot.”