Kannapolis, NC – Concord and Kannapolis Police wowed a panel of judges with their culinary skills at this morning’s Cooking for a Healthy Life Law Enforcement Challenge, held at Restaurant Forty Six in downtown Kannapolis.
Cooking for a Healthy Life is the newest program of the City of Kannapolis’ Discover a Healthy Life initiative. Today’s interactive training was designed to give practical nutrition tips and provide easy recipe ideas that law enforcement officers could apply while working 12 hour shifts. The hands-on segment was to help the officers become more confident in their ability to make quick, healthy meals.
In 50 minutes, each team of 10 officers created a fruit smoothie, grain and vegetable bowl and a wrap using a pantry of food provided for them as part of the challenge. Each team also showed their creativity by adding snacks like pretzels and guacamole and vegetables and hummus to their entries. They packed their items in containers and a cooler as well as plated them for the panel of evaluators. They were scored on nutritional content, taste, teamwork and the portability of their dishes.
Evaluators for the event were:
- Concord Mayor Bill Dusch
- Kannapolis City Council Member Roger Haas
- Executive Chef John Blumreich, Restaurant Forty Six
- Colin Kay, PhD, Associate Professor of Translational Nutrition and Food Sciences, NC State Plants for Human Health Institute
- Chef Mark Allison, Director of Culinary Nutrition, Cabarrus Health Alliance
Each evaluator praised the teams on the aromas, color, flavors and presentation of their food entries. “The blueberry smoothie and the rice bowls were all restaurant quality,” commented Kay. “Everything was balanced with lots of protein for energy. I was very impressed.”
“I’m not a nutritional expert,” Haas remarked. “So what struck me the most was the teamwork and sharing of ideas.”
“Lots of color and texture and good aroma and taste, and,” Allison emphasized, “all of this food is fresh so you know it has the highest nutritional value.”
Blumriech added, “I’m impressed with the roles you take in the community, and all you’ve done here. The visual appeal, the aroma, the combining of textures − great job!”
The challenged kicked off with a discussion on basic nutrition principles led by Cabarrus Health Alliance’s Nutrition Program Coordinator Meghan Charpentier, MS, MPH, and Dole Food Company’s Nutrition and Health Communications Manager Melanie Dwornik, RD, whose father is a retired New York City police officer.
Kannapolis Police Chief Woody Chavis commented that the experience of the challenge today, “showed us the options that we have to eat healthier and explained why we should explore them.”
At the end of the event, Concord edged out Kannapolis during the scoring round.