Season 2 Applewood’s “Chopped” Champions Crowned

Season 2 Applewood’s “Chopped” Champions Crowned

By Heath Braunstein, Director of Dining Services and the Culinary Institute of Applewood

Why just watch Chopped, the competitive cooking competition program on the Food Network, when you can be an active competitor right here at Applewood?

We recently crowned our second annual Chopped Champions after an exciting contest to determine who could create the best entree and side dish recipes from this year’s Mystery Basket of ingredients.

Ellen Meriney knows a thing or two about winning the annual competition–she was also a winner in 2017!

Our 2018 Chopped Champions–in an incredible 3-way tie–received a monogrammed chef hat and apron, along with a crystal trophy:

Team 3 – Joyce Donado, Frances Bianculli, Ethel Erlick, Karen Slobodin, Carol Niehaus

Team 4 – Beverly Stern, Joel Stern, Charles Clark, Adrienne Freedman

Team 5 – Ellen Meriney, Ethel Cohen, Eve Blum

This year’s winning recipes included savory salmon fillet, Upper East Side spinach salad and pureed leeks and parsnips.

We will be adding these dishes to an upcoming menu for all community residents to enjoy.

The Rules and the 2018 Mystery Basket

The competition began with the presentation of this year’s Mystery Basket ingredients from which competitors created their custom recipes for one entrée and two side dishes, which included:

Salmon fillet, parsnips, leeks, Mandarin oranges


Applewood Executive Chef Charles Arolla and I had the honor of judging the entries based on:

  • Use of all required ingredients
  • Culinary creativity
  • Accuracy of culinary technique and recipe documentation

CIA Tracked 115 Resident’s Culinary Passports

A record-breaking 115 residents participated in Applewood’s CIA program this past year. Those who attended a minimum of 10 CIA monthly lectures and interactive cooking sessions during 2017 were entered into a random drawing to win exciting culinary-themed prizes, which were awarded January 25 at our Chopped Awards Ceremony.

Dine the Way You Like, When You Like at Applewood

Residents don’t just enjoy our cuisine at Applewood–they can also learn how to prepare our most popular dishes in their own homes.

Each month, we offer cooking classes, nutrition education, wine tastings, and more. Whether you cook—or you don’t—join us every month for a laugh, a glass of wine and sample a new food, or two or three.

We’re all foodies, in one way or another. Our mission at the CIA and Dining Services is to keep our cuisine fresh and exciting to the palate.

“There is no shortage of things to do at Applewood, but the CIA

programs are really my favorite,” says two-time Chopped champion Ellen Meriney.

“Even if you don’t cook, the events are a fun social activity,

especially during the winter.”

Find out more about the Culinary Institute of Applewood, part of Applewood’s exclusive