Rescued Food Turns into Appealing Food and Drinks in Bethesda

Chefs from throughout the region were given apples, cans of jellied and whole cranberry sauce, bags of Raman noodles and lots of greens and vegetables. They then had 20 minutes to come up with a delicious and appetizing looking dish that used all the provided rescue food.

During Food Recovery Week, Manna Food Center teamed up with Marriott International and Manna’s Community Food Rescue to showcase the No Waste, Big Taste: A Rescued Food Cooking Competition. Held Oct. 21, the idea was to demonstrate how food that doesn’t look great, is unsellable or not completely used can make for great meals, sauces, smoothies and garnishes. All parts of fruits were used, including juices and the peels.

Top chefs and mixologists from area Marriott hotels created non-alcoholic cocktails and meals in the competition at the Marriott International’s test kitchen in Bethesda. During the event, many of the volunteers that help feed the county’s needy observed and tasted.

Exclaimed Chef Justen Ries from Gaylord National, “Cooking is so fulfilling to me, because you can nourish people.”

Many of those in attendance were grant recipients from the Montgomery Food Council and were excited that they now will be able to purchase a refrigerator or freezer or repair an oven.

“We are lucky to have partners like Manna to make sure no child goes hungry,” said Grace Rivera-Oven, who started the Upcounty Hub, which distributes food and other essentials to families. She is a candidate for the Montgomery County school board.

The winning chefs, Phil Skerman from the Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City and Sous Chef Dr. Truphena Choti, founder and CEO of AfriThrive Inc., used ingredients from the mystery bag as well as a few others to create a grilled pork loin dish.

Much of the fruits and greens used in the competition were from Sandy Spring Gardens in Ashton.

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