Chefs and seniors from several local retirement communities and one in Arizona whipped up culinary masterpieces based on family recipes for an Iron Chef Cooking Competition.
Billed as a “friendly cooking battle,” the first contest put on by Belmont Village Senior Living drew about 170 seniors ages 80 to over 100 to an outdoor tasting and contest viewing Nov. 5 at Belmont Village Senior Living in Cardiff.
A crowd of seniors watch as chefs from several retirement communities prepare farm-to-table dishes in the Iron Chef Cooking Competition at Belmont Village Senior Living in Cardiff.
(Courtesy Belmont Village Senior Living in Cardiff)
The competition involved 10 contestants from Belmont senior communities in Aliso Viejo, Sabre Springs, Cardiff and Scottsdale, Ariz., including four chefs, one from each community, three residents and three staff members who prepared their favorite farm-to-table inspired dishes and “put their recipes and cooking to the test.”
Residents entered appetizers and chefs prepared main dishes.
For the main event, each community had their top chef competing — Chef Alex Morales of Aliso Viejo, Chef Pete Reynoso of Sabre Springs, Chef Alex Del Castillo of Cardiff and Chef David Glennie of Scottsdale. The chefs were allowed to choose from various fresh items and had to incorporate a secret ingredient — blood oranges.
The chefs were given 20 minutes to complete their dishes. Scottsdale residents watched via Zoom, but their chef was flown in and competed live. The winner was determined by a panel of judges, including several residents, who tasted the dishes and rated each one.
A resident dances at the Iron Chef Competition at Belmont Village Senior Living in Cardiff.
(Courtesy Belmont Village Senior Living )
Morales from Aliso Viejo won first place for his scallops marinated with blood oranges. He paired the dish with a salad topped with blood orange dressing topped with toast points.
The top winner among residents was Bill Smith of Scottsdale, Ariz., a native Hawaiian, who entered his Hawaiian Short Ribs, which he cooked from his own recipe.
The mussels with coconut milk dish showcasing the rich flavors of the seafood was the judge’s favorite made by employee Rena Cabatay from Aliso Viejo.
Belmont is planning to run the contest again next year.