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Chefs of Local Senior Living Communities Compete for Ultimate Chef America Title; Event Educates Public on Healthy Dining and Aging

Saturday, April 24, 2010 General News J E 4
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DENVER, April 23 A dynamic culinary competition among area professional senior living chefs highlights healthy cooking, wellness and quality of life for older adults. During the culinary cook-off, the culinary professionals from Brookdale Senior Living, industry-leading owners and operators of senior living communities, will entertain and showcase their culinary talents to compete for the chance to win the "Ultimate Chef America" title.

On Thursday, May 20 from 4 to 7 p.m., Heritage Club Mountain View, a Brookdale Senior Living community, located at 8101 E. Mississippi Ave. in Denver, will open its doors to the public and host the intense competition and educational event. Seating is limited. Reservations by Tuesday, May 18 to 303-337-3400 are required.

During the Ultimate Chef America competition, two teams of four Dining Services staff members from area senior living communities will compete during a two-hour cooking competition focusing on healthy cooking for seniors. They will be charged with preparing four courses, and only able to use a grill for cooking.

Dishes prepared at the event will be tasted by a panel of judges. For this event, the judges are:

Attendees can join in the Ultimate Chef America event by gaining a close-up look at the competitors and the fast-paced competition. They will have the opportunity to ask the chefs questions, and taste culinary delights, including seafood soups and entrees, beef and pork tenderloin creations and more.

Attendees also will have the opportunity to participate in various educational programs, including a seminar featuring Dr. O'Neil, on the topic of "Food for the Soul," a presentation which taps into the emotional dimension and gives attendees insight into issues such as whether optimism can lead to better health and research behind the mind-body connection; a wine tasting class featuring wines, some of which may be local; and a class presented by the Culinary Arts Institute at Brookdale: "The Art of Seasoning," which addresses sodium-free solutions for declining taste buds as one ages.

To heighten the interest and activity of Ultimate Chef America, Brookdale has partnered with several national partners and sponsors to be included in a vendor expo. Attendees can interact with these vendors during the expo to gain answers, samples and more.

In addition, food inspired art created by residents of Brookdale Senior Living communities across the nation will be auctioned at the Ultimate Chef America event. Proceeds of this auction will go to The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, an organization which elevates the national consciousness of caregiving and fosters a culture of healthy caregivers impacted by chronic illness through programming, universal access to resources, and behavioral research.

"Without a doubt, attendees and participants will achieve fulfillment in the dimensions of wellness," said Joska J.W. Hajdu, Senior Vice President of Dining Services for Brookdale Senior Living. "The creativity, ability, and talent of our Dining Services associates will be showcased during this unique competition. Our chefs are masters at creating traditional, heart-healthy meals, and this competition will challenge peoples' notions on healthy food choices for seniors, educate them on healthy choices, and give them a purposeful activity through the auction all in a socially engaging environment."

A way of life offered exclusively by Brookdale Senior Living at its communities for residents and associates, Optimum Life® focuses on six key dimensions - emotional, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual and purposeful.

Community tours will also be available, and participants will gain a first-hand view of the variety, styles and sizes of the private apartments and the community areas for socializing, dining and entertaining. Staff will be available to discuss living options, and visitors will learn more about the programs, outings and opportunities offered to residents.

National sponsors include Advance Food Company, Ecolab, Entegra, Fidelity Printing, Nestle Professional, Royal Cup Coffee, Studio 1430 KEZW, TENA, Tyson Food Service, Vitality, owned by Nestle, and Walgreens.

The Ultimate Chef culinary competition is produced by the Culinary Arts Institute at Brookdale (CAI). The CAI at Brookdale is a professional development program designed to enhance the food preparation and presentation skills of Brookdale chefs. The dining and culinary arts team integrates hands-on training and classroom instructional materials that impart new food preparation skills and cutting edge techniques to enhance Brookdale residents' dining experiences.

More information about Ultimate Chef America can be found at http://www.ultimatechefamerica.com and http://www.facebook.com/ultimatechefbrookdale.

Brookdale Senior Living Inc. is the leading owner and operator of senior living communities throughout the United States. The company owns and operates independent living, assisted living, dementia care, skilled nursing and continuing care retirement centers. In all, Brookdale operates 564 communities in 35 states with a capacity to serve approximately 51,000 residents, as well as operating a dedicated rehabilitation and therapy group serving its communities and residents nationwide. Brookdale is committed to providing exceptional living experiences within properties that are purpose-built, designed and operated to help residents live well while achieving an Optimum Life®. Brookdale Senior Living communities provide a daily experience of programs, services and care that are unique as a result of the collective talents and inspiration of the residents, their families, and its associates - demonstrating Brookdale's promise of "Our People Make the Difference." Brookdale is a publicly-traded company (NYSE: BKD). For more information, visit http://www.brookdaleliving.com

Contacts: Holly Botsford, Public Relations Manager, 414-918-5314, hbotsford@brookdaleliving.com

Lizabeth Geiser, Director of Business Development, 720-291-7917 39, lgeiser@brookdaleliving.com

-- Leeza Gibbons, media personality, founder of The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, and author of America's No. 1 book on caregiving, "Take Your Oxygen First." -- Kirk Montgomery, entertainment reporter and anchor for Denver's Channel 9 News. -- Warren Byrne, host of KEZW-AM's The Restaurant Show. Byrne has hosted the Restaurant Show in Denver since 1978. -- Dr. Kevin W. O'Neil, MD, FACP of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and Medical Director of Optimum Life® for Brookdale Senior Living. -- Lee Shultz of Heritage Club Aurora, a Brookdale Senior Living assisted living and Alzheimer's care community. Shultz worked in the bakery during his service in the Navy, where the team of six men would bake about 7,000 pastries a day. He and his wife owned "The Sweet Shop" in Doyle's Town, Ohio.

SOURCE Brookdale Senior Living
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