Campbellford doctors swap stethoscopes for aprons in Cook-Off to raise money for hospital
It’s a culinary competition, carried out with surgical precision.
“They may be good at taking out a gallbladder, but not so good at making a pesto,” joked John Russell, executive director of the Campbellford Memorial Hospital Foundation.
Russell was referring to the eight doctors who had stepped out of the emergency room and into the kitchen, so to speak, for a Friday night fundraiser along the Trent River, where the Incredible Doctor Cook-Off was just getting underway.
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The event pairs doctors with local chefs. Each team is tasked with creating something unique and hopefully, delicious. Tickets for the $50-a-plate event were sold out before the doors opened.
All funds are going back to the hospital.
“This year, we have our bedside care campaign which is fundraising $2.5 million to purchase new equipment,” Russell said. “In fact, this is the first real signature event in support of the campaign.”
Dr. Jamie Read teamed up with Chef Tina Moorey, of On the Side Gourmet Food. The pair knew each other well, having worked together at Cook-Offs in previous years.
“When he decides not to be a doctor, he can be my sous chef,” Moorey said, causing Read to burst out laughing.
The pair had created an amuse-bouche made up of smoked salmon, cucumbers, meatballs, pasta, chicken and tzatziki.
“We’re going to be busy. We’re going get blasted, I’m telling you, they’re going to come and they’re just going to keep eating and eating,” Moorey predicted.
“And we’re going to have fun,” Read added.
“We always have fun,” Moorey replied.
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Other teams kept their patients in mind. Naturopathic Dr. Andrea Bull and Chef Shanna Layton included a gluten-free and vegetarian option.
“I’m seeing patients every day that need to be gluten-free and dairy-free, so I think it’s really important to acknowledge those options and make sure everybody can enjoy,” Bull said.
Though the night was billed as a challenge, many of these medical professionals were happy for the chance to put down the scalpel and pick up a kitchen knife.
“I love to cook actually. In my house, my father did a lot of cooking, my mother did a lot of cooking — I grew up watching both of them and I fell in love with it from a very young age,” said Dr. Michael Norman.
“Dr. Reid and I really enjoy cooking. It’s one of my creative outlets. It’s not something I have a lot of time for, but certainly, when I do, it’s one of my ways of relaxing.”
“I work in the emergency department, and I don’t cook when I’m working, and when I go home, I’m the cook,” echoed Dr. Jeffy Parsons-Sheldrake.
The event was also part of the Incredible Edibles Festival happening this weekend in Campbellford.
The award winners were announced on Monday:
- Fan Favorite (The Masters): Dr. Jeffy Parsons-Sheldrake and Ben Lehman
- Last Meal Prior to Surgery: Dr. Neil Pritchard & Adam Low
- Most Innovative: Dr. Daniel Sheps amnd Ron Csenar
- Best International Flair: Dr. Andrea Bull and Shanna Layton
- Judges Choice: Dr. Gerald Dykstra and Justine Viske
- Best Presentation: Dr. Jamie Read and Tina Moorey
- Sponsors Choice Med Student: Liam Portt and Ian Thompson
- Best Use of Local Produce: Dr. Michael Norman and Simone Portelli
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