For some, the third time is a charm, but for Rob Eddy, Sous Chef at Prairie Ridge Health, it was the second.

“I was not in the top four, but I will be next year,” said Rob in 2018. And he was. In the summer of 2019, Rob clinched the title of top chef at the Premier Culinary Creations Contest in Nashville, Tennessee. The contest included 47 chefs nationally. Of those entrants, 10 were chosen as top chefs, which is where Rob finished in 2018.

This time Rob was named the winner at the Culinary Creations Dinner with his recipe for Gardener’s Pie. “I had several people come up to me and say that they never thought of using cauliflower or chickpeas that way,” explained Rob.

The Culinary Creations Contest is an opportunity for Premier’s food service members to honor their peers by selecting who they consider to be top chefs in the food service industry. The theme, Classic Entrée with a Twist, challenged food service members to take a fresh approach to traditional recipes that maximized fresh ingredients, used minimally processed foods, and reflected an overall healthier profile.

The four chefs in the final round prepared, presented, and served their dishes to over 200 Premier food service members. “The room was filled with people from across the country,” said Rob. “We went up on stage, spoke about our dish and the audience could ask questions.”

After the presentations, the audience voted and determined Rob’s recipe to be the top recipe in the nation. “When thinking of what dish to make, I think about the audience I a.m. cooking for and what they would like. This dish is doable, anyone can make it,” said Rob, who used toasted almonds rather than salt to adhere the low sodium nutritional guidelines of the contest. “And at the end of the day, it just tasted good.”

Are there plans for a repeat? “I plan to enter the contest again next year,” said Rob, who already has ideas for his next dish.

Rob’s many culinary creations will be available at The Ridge Café at Prairie Ridge Health, the new kitchen cafeteria and servery opening in the late summer of 2020. The Ridge will feature ample seating with a scenic view, patio seating, pleasing artwork, and accessibility via two entrance points (the hospital’s main entrance and the south parking lot entrance).

For more information regarding The Ridge Café and other Nutrition Services programs at Prairie Ridge Health,
visit www.PrairieRidge.Health.