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Soup’s On!

The Soup For A Crowd contest, in which Special Tree teams compete against one another in a spirited culinary challenge, took place for the second straight year on Wednesday, February 16, 2011. The contest, organized by the Residential Food Service Committee, is aimed at promoting nutrition, healthy cooking, and enjoyment of food at our community residences and inpatient kitchens. Inspired by the “Top Chef” and “Throwdown” style television shows, teams submit recipes in advance to first be accepted as contestants. Then on the big day, they busily put their dishes on display including setting up themed table tops for added presentation. Challengers from Residential, NeuroCare, and TAP gathered simultaneously at both the Troy Neuro Skills Center (Oakland/Macomb/Mid-Michigan) and at the NeuroCare Campus (Wayne and NCC), serving up nearly 700 cups of soup trying to wow the crowds.

Staff and clients from all across Special Tree were invited to attend and serve as tasters and judges. After over 100 ballots were cast, winners were determined based on the soup’s healthiness and overall taste. At NCC, the Wayne TAP team was named king of the soup for their oh-so-tasty Tortellini Meatball chowder while in Troy, Royal Oak’s spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup reigned supreme. Only one team could be top-dog at each throwdown location, but Second Place awards went to NCC for their yummy Stuffed Bell Pepper soup, the Cottage for a deliciously decadent Lasagna soup, and Beverly Hills for their super creamy Acorn Squash bisque. River Ridge and Heavlin each received an Honorable Mention for having the Healthiest Soup entries. Arbor Court earned the noble recognition of Best Presentation, NCC, for their Tuscan themed display, complete with a bottle of St. Julian sparkling cider to accompany their hearty Tuscan Stew. Moravian West got a big thumbs up for their Gazpacho, earning Best Presentation and a special “Most Unusual Soup” commendation.

 With full bellies we thank everyone, chefs and tasters alike, for their enthusiastic participation. We’re awarding a five-star rating to our Food Service Committee, RSTs, managers and clients involved in making the soup, getting it to the contest and serving up the dishes to a hungry crowd. Soup-er job everyone!

Special Tree’s Residential Food Service Improvement Committee.

The Troy gym filled with hungry critics.

VP and Director of Admissions, Jack Richert tasting an entree. Judging by his pencil and paper, he's taking the contest very seriously.

Big smiles while soup is served.