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Maureen Brooker, Motherhouse Chef, Speaks of Creativity in Cooking

July 5, 2017, Washington, DC – Maureen Brooker, executive chef at the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse, sees the need to add flavor to the dishes she prepares for the Sisters – even if their diet is restricted. She was one of a few chefs to be interviewed by Sonia Rao of The Washington Post during the Culinary Creations dinner sponsored by Premier Purchasing and held in Washington, D.C., in late June.

The Motherhouse campus purchases many of their goods from Premier Purchasing, which serves businesses in a number of fields. Premier’s food service clients include universities, elementary and high schools, health care systems, and prisons.

Once again, Maureen was a finalist in Premier’s Culinary Creations contest, this time for her Sesame Lime Shrimp Bowl. During the dinner, the 430 Premier members at the conference vote on their favorite of four dishes offered during the dinner. Last year, her Spicy Chicken Breast with Pumpkin Seeds and Vegetable Medley was a favorite of her colleagues at the Culinary Creations dinner.

Read the article on this year’s contest, printed in The Washington Post.


Maureen Brooker, Adrian Dominican Motherhouse Chef, Wins Culinary Creation Contest

July 6, 2016, Washington, DC – Chef Maureen (Moe) Brooker, chef of the Adrian Dominican Sisters Motherhouse, took first place in the Culinary Creation Contest for her creation, Spicy Chicken Breast with Pumpkin Seeds and Vegetable Medley. Her award-winning entrée earned her the Culinary Cup

Maureen’s dish was voted Number One by 450 of her peers at a special dinner, during which the entrees created by four finalists in the competition were prepared by the hotel chefs. The dinner took place in the midst of the Foodservice Forum – part of an annual conference sponsored by Premier Purchasing and held June 21-24, 2016, in Washington, DC. Maureen and her supervisor, Susan Kremski, attended the conference. 

Susan Kremski (left), Director of the Food Services Department, and Chef Maureen Brooker pose with the award-winning dish.

“This is a real honor,” Susan said. “We’re really proud of her.”

Susan explained that the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse campus purchases much of their goods through Premier Purchasing, which serves businesses in a number of fields. Premier’s food service clients include universities, elementary and high schools, health care systems, and prisons.  

This is the second year that Chef Moe has entered the Culinary Creation Contest. Laster year, the contest focused on desserts, and her entry came in eighth place.

To enter this year’s competition, chefs had to follow very specific requirements, Maureen said. “One portion, including one side, should have no more than 500 calories, 17 grams of fat, and 1,600 grams of sodium,” as well as be original and creative. She calculated that one portion of her dish carries 354 calories, 14 grams of fat, and 580 grams of sodium.

Maureen said that her creation is similar to what she serves her family sometimes. “I just tweaked it to fit into the parameters.” Some of the ingredients – Brussel sprouts and pumpkin seeds – are popular these days, and even trendy. Most important, Maureen said, her daughter likes this dish. “It can’t be that bad if a 14-year-old eats it!”

Maureen came to the Adrian Dominican Motherhouse Campus with a great deal of experience. After graduating from Culinary school in 1991, Maureen said, she worked for seven years at Oakwood Common, a senior community in Dearborn, Michigan. She worked her way up from pastry chef to executive chef. Her career has also included serving as chef at Host Marriott and, for 11 years, as a chef at St. George Village Retirement Community, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Atlanta. “I’ve had my own restaurant,” she said. “I’ve had my own catering business. I’ve worked for bars and grills. I’ve had a litany of different places I’ve worked, and I enjoy it.”


 

 

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