Rydal Park Executive Chef Wins Regional Culinary Competition

First annual “Mystery Basket Cook-off” hosted by FLIK Hospitality Group

JENKINTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA (MARCH 30, 2016):  Rydal Park, a premier continuing care retirement community in the Greater Philadelphia area, is pleased to announce that its Executive Chef, Jason Porter, placed first overall in a regional culinary cook-off hosted by FLIK Hospitality Group and Bon Appetit of Compass Group at John Hopkins University.

“After starting as a dishwasher at age 13 and with over 26 years’ experience in this industry, I am incredibly honored to have placed first in this competition,” said Porter. “It’s always fun getting to hone my skills and meet other chefs who have also dedicated their lives to this fulfilling profession.”

Five teams from all different sectors –  FLIK, FLIK Lifestyles, Restaurant Associates, Bon Appetit and Thompson Hospitality – were chosen from across the tri-state area to participate in the all-day competition.

Upon arrival, each team received a mystery basket holding ingredients (venison, capon and striped bass) to create a three-course meal that included an appetizer, salad and entrée. Participants had 15 minutes to draft a menu and four hours to cook. The dishes were set up “tapas” style for about 50 guests. Two professional chefs and the audience were tasked with judging, and prizes were awarded for the following four categories: best appetizer, entrée, dessert and overall.

Porter took home honors for “Best Appetizer” as well as “Best Overall.” His dishes included:

  • Appetizer: Chili and coffee crusted venison, cauliflower polenta, blackberry gastrique and beet crisps
  • Salad: Herb-roasted capon, warm potato salad, endive and shaved Brussels with crispy confit and roasted garlic vinaigrette
  • Entrée: Seared rockfish, asparagus risotto, smoked tomato stew served with with shaved asparagus salad and balsamic reduction
  • Vegetarian: portabella carpaccio, spring vegetable capanota and fried capers

Porter’s diverse portfolio includes working at the award winning Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa in Lake Placid, NY and later as the Executive Chef at a private country club, personal chef for one of Philly’s elite, and an Asian fusion restaurant.

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About Rydal Park

Opened in 1974 and located on a scenic 20-acre campus in Abington Township, Montgomery County, Rydal Park is a full continuing care retirement community that offers independent living across four contiguous apartment home buildings, as well as personal care, skilled nursing and rehabilitative care. Known for its exceptional location and amenities, Rydal Park has become synonymous with healthy, elegant and quality retirement living. In total, Rydal Park offers 509 accommodations.