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Elmhurst Memorial Hospital’s WILDFLOWER Foodservice to Compete in National Culinary Competition This June


On June 7, Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare’s executive chef, Jim Roth and lead cook, Yanka Manikatova, will compete in the Association for Healthcare Foodservice’s (AHF) 2013 Culinary Competition. Pitted against four other culinary teams, this national competition held during the AHF Annual Conference in New Orleans challenges teams to design an original healthy dish featuring the mandatory ingredient from Basic American Foods - Potato Pearls®Natural Mashed Potatoes. 


Chef Roth’s entry consists of a Potato Pearls ® goat cheese mashed potato cake atop a crab and corn maque choux, with New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp with Abita amber ale glaze and pineapple compote.


“At Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, we have a passion and commitment to the development of a world class food program!  We offer freshly prepared meals with the finest ingredients in both our patient and retail operations.” said Chef Roth.  “Healthcare foodservice has transformed over the last 10 years and our WILDFLOWER foodservice program is a prime example of the changes that are evolving in the industry.”


Elmhurst Memorial Hospital is the only hospital in the Midwest that earned a spot at the national level. The other finalists include:

  • Michael Atanasio, director of food services, and Todd Daigneault, executive chef, from Overlook Medical Center in Summit, N.J.
  • Steven Bressler, retail services manager, and John Graziano, executive chef, from The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J.
  • Joanne McMillian, director, and Aatul Jain, retail operation manager and chef, from Saint Clare's Health Systems in Denville, N.J.
  • Dan Powers, manager operations, and Glenton Goodwill, cook, from Centra in Lynchburg, Va.


The winning dish must fit within the stated nutritional guidelines; cost less than $7 to produce; be appropriate to serve in a facility on regular menu rotation, whether retail, catering or patient feeding; and, of course, be delicious. The AHF judges will evaluate the teams and their dishes on organization, culinary skills, taste and presentation. The top three winners will be awarded prizes and medals.


“We look forward to demonstrating the talents of our staff and are very proud of our entire culinary team,” said David Reeves, MBA, director of hospitality services at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital.  “The AHF culinary competition represents healthcare’s most talented chefs and it is a privilege to be included with this group of esteemed culinarians”.  “At Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare, we follow the Planetree philosophy that values treating not only the body, but the mind and the soul of patients. Serving nutritious, tastefully presented meals with outstanding customer service is the utmost goal our culinary and nutrition team”. 


The WILDFLOWER Café is centrally located on the first floor of the Elmhurst Memorial Hospital (155 E. Brush Hill Rd. Elmhurst, IL, 60126). The café is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m.–7 p.m. and on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays from 7 a.m.–6:30 p.m.


Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare Network

This site is part of the Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare network of Web sites, which covers a variety of topics using the same philosophy: When it comes to medical care, we know that you have a lot of options. And we want you to know that you're more than a patient to us. You're an individual. We would appreciate the opportunity to provide you with state-of-the-art medical care and down-to-earth, personalized attention.

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