The dietary team at Riverdale’s Hebrew Home sure knows how to stir the pot.
Wanting to give residents a better sense of how the industrial kitchen runs — and a little more say over its menu —James Iatrou, director of food services, invited them to submit their own recipes this winter.
What followed was a savory, colorful competition that found head chef Angel Rodriguez cooking up a Persian lamb-and-bean stew, cranberry turkey meatballs and a crunchy cabbage soup featuring coleslaw, ginger ale and ketchup.
As Rodriguez measured ingredients according to the recipes submitted by Rita Fishman, Shirley Weintraub and Debra Zion, the ladies stood watch, encouraging an extra pinch of seasonings. Rodriguez passed samples off to a taste-testing panel comprising Riverdale CEO and President Daniel Reingold, two nutritionists and nursing home resident Gloria Lutz.
Iatrou had been thinking of ways to make the kitchen more accessible to the 700-plus residents served daily in about 20 kosher dining areas. “We were looking to really get something a little different,” said Iatrou, who selected three contest finalists from more than 20 entries. “Lo and behold, we did. I think you kind of empower those residents by asking them to get involved.”