For visitors attending this year’s Nutritious Newark Cook-Off, the hardest decision was where to begin – savor the tasty samples from six local restaurants? Watch chef Robbie Jester make a healthier version of his Bobby Flay-beating shrimp scampi? Or take in the sights inside the one-of-a-kind space at the Tower at STAR? Thankfully for the more than 500 visitors filling the audion and atrium at the Tower at STAR, there was time to do it all, including taking part in cholesterol, glucose and other free health screenings offered to the community. 

“One of the great things about this event is that you get to see exactly what collaboration looks like,” Michael Smith, director of Strategic Partnerships for CHS, told the crowd seated in the demonstration kitchen. 

Jester, along with Kristin Wiens, coordinator of the Food and Nutrition Education Lab, showed off the many possibilities for healthy cooking and nutrition education in the demonstration kitchen. Jester, known for his success on the Food Network show, “Beat Bobby Flay,” works as culinary director of High 5 Hospitality and co-owner of Full Circle Food. With an eager – and hungry – crowd in front of him, he cooked a healthier version of his winning shrimp scampi recipe, substituting zucchini noodles for pasta.

As Jester sliced, chopped and sauteed in the demonstration kitchen, local restaurants served their own healthy dishes in the atrium and audion. University of Delaware catering had a line of people waiting for its kale quinoa panzanella salad, while Homegrown Cafe drew rave reviews for its red curry glazed salmon and tofu with coconut brown rice and wasabi soy slaw. The peanut noodle and veggie salad by The Bistro at Courtyard by Marriott looked as good as it tasted, and the Grain Bowl by Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen brought hints of spring inside with its colorful display. The delightful seared tuna with tabouli salad by Caffé Gelato kept a steady swarm of fans close by, while the sweet nectarine flatbread by the Go Baby Go Cafe offered a treat for those in the atrium.  Several of the recipes also earned the endorsement of the registered dietitians of the Nutrition Clinic at UD Health

Attendees voted on winners for Best Presentation, Most Creative and Tastiest Food in Newark.

Congratulations to the 2019 winners:

  • Most Creative: The Bistro at Courtyard by Marriott
  • Best Presentation: UD Catering
  • Tastiest Food: Home Grown Café

Additional 2019 competitors included Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen, Caffé Gelato, and UD’s Go Baby Go Cafe.

And congratulations to the attendees who won UD Health raffle prizes:

  • Nutrition package (Donna Giordano)
  • Fitness package (Cindy Richsteiner)
  • Wellness package (Stefania Vito)
  • UD gear package (Danielle Rodriguez)


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