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Chopped Challenges in Our Kitchen

When the COVID crisis forced us to cancel our community dinners, our talented kitchen crew quickly pivoted to make delicious and nutritious packaged meals, which we include in our pantry bags and deliver via our mobile pantry programs. The crew continues to create SOS (Save Our Surplus) meals, which make use of donated items that we get in bulk packaging (and are not able to repackage to family-size) and excess perishable items that must be cooked in a timely fashion. Coming up with appealing, healthy meals with an unusual selection of ingredients can be challenging – it’s like we are running an episode of Chopped in our kitchen each week!

And to make the experience even more like a TV series, we are often joined by local celebrity chefs: chefs who generously donate their time, skills, and often food, to help provide good food for people in need in our community. Many thanks to these tireless kitchen magicians for sharing their talent with us and our guests.

Check out some of the recent challenges and results:

Chefs Luke Giroux and Dave Ayotte

Luke Giroux Director of Dining services at the Meadowbrook School in Weston and Dave Ayotte chef manager of the Fenn School create together an original recipe they call Summer Chicken with Lemon and Fennel. With schools closed they wanted to keep busy in the kitchen and have generously volunteered their time with Open Table – we’re so lucky to have them!

Rosemary Crusted Chicken

Rosemary Crusted Chicken dinners were cooked up by Concord head cook Dean Banfield and new Stow volunteer Jeannie Mahon.




Summery Senior Lunch

What to do when you get a giant container of green beans? Our culinary team served up delicious Smokey Chicken BLT Wraps and a Summer Pepper Green Bean salad for a senior lunch!



Chef Dave Becker

Chef and owner of Juniper and Sweet Basil restaurants Dave Becker came again to cook in Maynard. He and Ellen Greendale and Sara Flanagan were challenged to cook donated Chinese noodles, ground turkey from Greater Boston Food Bank and fresh organic Napa cabbage from Gaining Ground. They made a delicious Asian noodle dish.

Senior Lunch Delight!

Intrepid culinary volunteers Julie Klinger and Mr. Tom Terrific Marshall have been producing delicious take-home lunches for our Senior Guests. This time around it was “Carrot Tuna Delight”!



Thanksgiving in July

Chef Luke Giroux from the Meadowbrook School in Weston returned to our kitchens and singlehandedly created Thanksgiving-in-July prepared meals. Turkey, stuffing and even homemade cranberry sauce – guests can enjoy all the comfort and tastiness of Thanksgiving without a hot kitchen.


We’re wondering what the chefs will come up with for the latest collection we saw in the kitchen: salsa black beans, peanut butter, shredded coconut, and marshmallow fluff!

Have a good recipe suggestion? Email us at [email protected]