Cook-off in Kent: Teams put to the test in Arbor Village challenge

Cooking for an average of 130 residents each day is a challenge for Mark Anthony Eleccion, but preparing a winning meal combination under the spotlight of a time-crunched contest is something entirely different.

The Blue Team

The Blue Team

Cooking for an average of 130 residents each day is a challenge for Mark Anthony Eleccion, but preparing a winning meal combination under the spotlight of a time-crunched contest is something entirely different.

“It’s nerve-racking for me,” said Eleccion, moments after serving up the winning full-course meal for judges and residents in a cook-off at Kent’s Arbor Village Continuing Care Retirement Community on Aug. 15.

Given the secret ingredient – the onion – Eleccion and Team Yellow went to work and prevailed in the “Iron Chef”-esque cooking competition, now in its fourth year at Arbor Village.

The event featured three teams of chefs from The Inn, The Village and The Lodge at Arbor Village – staged in front of judges and residents at the Arbor Village Assisted Living Dining Room.

Teams swiftly made dishes with the onion being a prevalent ingredient in each dish. The teams were on a one-hour clock to prepare all dishes.

When the scores were tallied, Team Yellow came out on top. Eleccion, Kulwinder Kaur and Cindy McGeary were Arbor Village’s “Iron Chefs” after serving: an onion and pear bruschetta for the appetizer; an onion slider with stuffed pearl onions and an onion salad for the main dish; cream of onion soup as the side dish; and a carrot-onion cake, replete with caramelized onions, sauce and cinnamon-sugar fried onions, for dessert.

Each winning team member received a $50 Visa gift card.

For Eleccion, of Covington, it was his third win in the cook-off. His team dethroned Bernardo Gonzalez and the Red Team.

The onion is not an easy ingredient to integrate.

“It was tricky. I had to think out of the box,” Eleccion said of the team’s recipes.

As for winning the contest?

“It feels pretty good,” Eleccion said.

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PHOTO BELOW: The Village’s winning Yellow Team included, from left, Kulwinder Kaur, Mark Anthony Eleccion, Cindy McGeary. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter




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