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Cooking for a Cause

Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

This year's Cardiac Cook-Off promises delicious, heart-healthy dishes, lots of fun . . . and a few surprises.

The Friends of The Heart Institute's Cardiac Cook-Off on October 14 will feature three pairs of cardiologists working with local chefs to create the winning dish of the evening. It's a culinary throw down pitting doctor against doctor as they trade in their stethoscopes for spatulas.

James Kmetzo, MD and Michael Mooradd, MD will team with Chef Guy from the Hattery Stove & Still in Doylestown. Dr. Kmetzo says his philosophy on food is to keep it simple. "Don't be intimidated by cooking – anyone can do it."

This five-time cook-off participant is the grill master at home. Indeed grilling is something he does nine months out of the year. "Fish is a go-to for us. I do things that are easy on the grill, like seafood in a basket and occasionally lean steak. I use simple, healthy marinades."

Summer means using fresh vegetables from his garden in dishes like his naan grilled pizza. Dr. Kmetzo tops the Indian flat bread with veggies and sometimes adds turkey sausage or leftover chicken or fish and just a little bit of cheese.

Dr. Kmetzo uses very little if any salt. One of his favorite marinades includes low-sodium soy sauce and fresh lemon or lime juice, a little pepper and some mustard. He marinates the salmon for a couple hours, coats the grill with olive oil and grills the fish for 12-15 minutes until it is "perfectly tender."

For this year's competition, Dr. Kmetzo has been cooking up something special with Dr. Mooradd and Chef Guy. "It's never been done before," says Dr. Kmetzo. "We'll have a special display and presentation. We're even wearing different outfits."

"I've thought about this for two years," adds Dr. Kmetzo.

Francis Grzywacz, MD and James Guarino, MD will pair with Chef Caleb Lentchner of Caleb's American Kitchen. They're a little less fanatic about food, but just as serious about having a good time. "I'm not a great cook," says Dr. Grzywacz, "but I am an avid healthy eater. I like to cook some things."

Ok, so he's no Julia Child, but he tries. Dr. Grzywacz likes to grill fish, especially salmon, which has lots of heart-healthy omega-3s. He and Dr. Guarino have met with Chef Caleb and have planned their meal. He also plans to spread the word about healthy cooking.

"The message is that you can use healthy options that still taste good," says Dr. Grzywacz, adding, "I'm looking forward to doing the cook-off. It should be a lot of fun."

Rounding out the competition will be Drs. Doyle Walton and Sam Coleman working with Chef Justin McClain from The Standard Club.

The event benefits The Friends of The Heart Institute, an all-volunteer group that raises funds for cardiac equipment and programs for The Richard A. Reif Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital.

Cardiac Cook-off Event Details

Date and Time: Tuesday, October 14, 6 to 9 pm
Where: Doylestown Country Club, 20 Country Club Lane, Doylestown
$60 per person ($25 is tax deductible)
The biennial event includes tasting the fruits of the competition, hors d'oeuvres, desserts and a cash bar. For more information or reservations, call Jeanne at 215-345-2141 or visit the Cardiac Cook-off webpage.

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