Do you have leftover summer squash and zucchini?

Our chefs have a solution. They prepared an amazing ratatouille recipe and presented the meal during our Veggiefest 2023 event.

It was an energetic scene and included a “veggie edition” of the game Jeopardy. Chef Jeremiah Moyer and Sous Chef Brian Bogan competed to guess the right answers to food trivia questions.

Residents and staff also shared some meal ideas. They put their culinary creativity to the test and competed to take home 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in three meal categories. Residents, staff and visitors sampled their dishes — all of them using delicious produce from the Farm at Willow Run.

Check out this year’s winners and the names of their prize-winning dishes.

Appetizers, Sides, Soups, Juices:
1st place: Connie Westfall, Red Tomato Chutney
2nd place: Phil Henning, Focaccia
3rd place: Peregrin Sanchez, Pasta Salad

Main Dishes:
1st place: Peregrin Sanchez, Loubieh bi Zeit
2nd place: Richard Bowman, Multi-Bean BBQ Casserole with Ground Beef
3rd place: Charlotte Burkholder, Zesty Carrots

Desserts and Sweets:
1st place: Peregrin Sanchez, Carrot Cake
2nd place: Kendall West, Carrot Cake
3rd place: Kim Cooke, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Peregrin Sanchez, a member of VMRC’s dining services staff, swept the competition. But in the end, it was all about sharing.

“For me, food is an exploration of the human condition. Everyone needs to eat; studying the things we consume and the ritual around it is a way to connect across time, culture and place,” Said Peregrin. “I find myself most fulfilled when I can evoke a feeling of joy and comfort with familiar foods and create new cross-cultural experiences and memories with new people; the fact that my recipes were so well received is proof that I accomplished that goal, and that for me is more rewarding than any ribbon.”

If any of these recipes intrigue you, let us know and we’ll provide the recipe.

If you’d like a break from cooking, dine with us at the Main Street Cafe and check out our amazing summer soups. They include:

  • Cold Blueberry Cantaloupe Soup
  • Cold Pineapple & Honey Soup
  • Cold Mango Soup
  • Cold Blueberry Soup
  • Watermelon & Tomato Gazpacho

When served cold, they are the perfect way to get your fruit serving and beat the heat.