AUGUSTA — A first cooking competition at MaineGeneral held Sept. 17 drew approximately 200 people. The cook-off showed how delicious healthy and locally sourced food can be by having two of Maine’s top chefs creating their own dishes from farm-fresh ingredients, according to a news release from MaineGeneral.

The free event highlighted the talents of Blaine House executive chef Chris Hart and MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Food & Nutrition Services director Conrad Olin. The main ingredients were secret to the chefs until the beginning of the event, and included root vegetables, apples, eggplant and haddock. Judges were chosen from the audience.

The event resulted in a close win by Blaine House chef Chris Hart. He excelled on finding ways to make his appetizer and entrée healthy with reducing fat content in his cooking, according to the release. Both chefs received rave reviews for the categories of taste, creativity, ease of recreating by novice chefs and presentation.

“This friendly competition was a unique way for MaineGeneral to continue to get the word out about the health benefits of food sourced in our state,” said MaineGeneral CEO Chuck Hays, in the release. “MaineGeneral is a recognized leader when it comes to promoting good food and nutrition. We’ve recently expanded efforts to make nutrition a cornerstone of our healthy living programs. This event is a great way to increase public awareness about the benefits of good nutrition.”

MaineGeneral’s promotion of healthy food includes:

• Increasing the amount of locally sourced food served to patients, staff and the public.

• Sponsoring farmers’ markets and offering its hospital campuses as Community Supported Agriculture pickup sites.

• Working in the community to promote healthy cooking and nutrition through classes offered at community-based centers.

• Producing a video about the importance of sourcing food from local farmers.

• Establishing a Center for Prevention and Healthy Living to expand services and classes focused on small changes to live healthier.

• Using the teaching kitchen at the Alfond Center for Health to offer healthy cooking classes and events.

MaineGeneral’s cafeteria at the Alfond Center for Health, Augusta, was named “Best Totally Unexpected Lunch Spot” in Down East Magazine, according to the release.

For five years in a row, MaineGeneral Food & Nutrition has won awards for its food served at the Taste of Waterville, with the judges consistently praising the locally sourced and healthy food.

MaineGeneral’s Healthy Living Resource Center provides this event and other free opportunities each month to learn how to live healthier. The center, as part of MaineGeneral’s Center for Prevention and Healthy Living, offers classes on healthy cooking and eating, physical movement and a healthy mind and body.

To learn more call 872-4102 or visit

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