This past March, Cura Hospitality chefs gathered together to cater the “Dining with Diakon” fundraising event of the season. Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries, a Cura account, operates senior living communities and a range of services for children, youths, families, and older adults in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware.
Healthcare managed service company Cura has a major role in coordinating and preparing food and hospitality for this fundraising event, which each year raises more than $150,000 for the Diakon Wilderness Center located in Boiling Spring, PA.
Cura culinary council chefs, culled from different client operations, came together to chop, cook and compete for the coveted Golden Spoon, an award given to the best recipe as voted by the guests at the event. (The Cura chefs also shared the spotlight with “celebrity chefs” — local business and media celebrities who help serve the food.)
There was one catch — the recipes were not developed by the Cura chefs but were gathered from sponsors, vendors, management and employees, and families of Diakon. So the menu did not represent one cohesive theme developed by professional chefs, but rather a wide ranging assortment of favorite family dishes.
And yet, according to Bryan Lucas, a Cura general manager at Menno Haven, a Cura facility in Chambersburg, PA, this year's menu was not a chef's nightmare.
“We've learned and adapted from the two prior years' events to be mindful of food costs while preparing just what was needed,” he said. “The stations serve more as taste-teasers than as full course meals. Thus we focus on preparing and presenting small quantity-controlled portions,” he explains.
Approximately 400 people gathered at the Harrisburg Hilton and Towers to taste and rate favorite recipes. Menu choices ranged from the simple yet sophisticated Penne with Tomato Prosciutto Sauce to a trendy Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche. Each station was manned by two Cura chefs and the local celebrity chef, with extra staff helping to maintain cleanliness and presentation of the station areas.
Dining with Diakon
Chicken-Foghorn Leghorn in the Field
Fillet of Beef w/Tomato Madiera Confit
Lobster Macaroni and Cheese
Mountain Top Wilderness Chili
Penne with Tomato Prosciutto Sauce
Basil Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche
Triple Cherries Jubilee