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Maplewood Senior Living Chefs Take Home Top Prizes at CALA Chef Challenge

May 4, 2023
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Maplewood Senior Living Chefs Take Home Top Prizes at CALA Chef Challenge

Chefs from Four Maplewood Senior Living Communities in CT Recognized for their Culinary Skills; Maplewood at Orange Chef Receives an Unprecedented Perfect Score

Maplewood Senior Living has announced that four chefs at its Connecticut residences took home top prizes at the 2023 CALA Chef Challenge, which recognizes excellence in senior living culinary experiences.  This also marks Maplewood Senior Living’s eighth consecutive year that one of its chefs has won.

The chefs being honored this year are Walter Parks, Jr. at Maplewood at Orange, who won first place in the seafood category with an exceptionally rare perfect score; Adam Liotta at Maplewood at Newtown, who took home second place prize in the seafood category; Cameron Matthews at Maplewood at Southport, who was awarded second place in the meat category; and Picasso Petion at Maplewood at Strawberry Hill, who placed third in the meat category.  The competing teams are judged by a panel of professional chef judges for first, second and third place prizes.  Judging is based on a combination of recipe quality, variety and creative use of products, as well as presentation and kitchen protocols.

At Maplewood Senior Living, food is a love language that has the power to spark new friendships, nourish the mind and body, and brighten spirits.  Every chef believes in the transformative power of a delicious meal and takes pride in creating a holistic dining experience.  The food is deeply rooted in seasonality, embraces its residents’ unique tastes and allows the chefs to be creative.

“Having so many of our chefs recognized by the CALA Chef Challenge is an affirmation of Maplewood Senior Living’s commitment to delivering an unsurpassed level of attention, care and service to our residents and their families,” said Gregory D. Smith, president and CEO of Maplewood Senior Living.  “Our mission is to redefine the concept of luxury senior living by creating environments that contribute to resident wellness, which includes offering an exceptional culinary experience.”

Mr. Parks’ winning dish at Maplewood at Orange was cast iron seared diver sea scallops on a bed of applewood, smoked bacon, sautéed leeks and potatoes topped with porcini mushrooms, asparagus tips and white wine truffle butter.  “This dish was something that came together organically as a result of the competition’s time constraints,” said Mr. Parks.  “I love to cook seafood and have asked the residents for feedback about what they would like to see on the menu and that’s almost universally one of their favorite food requests.  This recipe is something that I can now share with our community at Maplewood at Orange.  I’ve been here for a little over a year and have loved every minute and look forward to many more years.”

For more information, please call 203-557-4777 or visit,

<span class="fineprint">Maplewood Senior Living is known for its upscale senior living residences, offering a broad range of premier services, amenities and care to its residents.  Based in Westport, CT, Maplewood Senior Living operates 16 senior living communities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Ohio.  The re is an Upper East Side location in Manhattan, NY, within the company’s newest brand, Inspīr.  This new, senior living offering was launched to provide a luxurious option for seniors looking to join a residential community in major metropolitan areas.  A second Inspīr location is under development in Washington D.C.’s vibrant Dupont Circle neighborhood.</span>

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