NorthPointe Woods Executive Chef Places 6th in National Culinary Competition
It’s hard to imagine that a decadent breakfast concoction of caramelized pancakes, sprinkled with powdered sugar and topped with fruit sauce, would cause a food fight, but for NorthPointe Woods senior living community’s Executive Chef Robert Potzinger, it did. The chef’s Bavarian recipe for Kaiserchmarn won him entry into Morrison Community Living’s 2017 Food Fight.
The residents and staff at NorthPointe Woods, located in Battle Creek, MI, weren’t surprised when Chef Potzinger’s culinary creation won the judges’ attention. Three times a day residents get the opportunity to savor the chef’s creative breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes in their restaurant-style dining room—where they’re more likely to clean their plates than ever consider tossing a single bite.
“We are so delighted to have Chef Robert,” says Melissa Ferguson, Director of Marketing and Community Outreach. “He has brought a new level of excellence in cuisine to NorthPointe Woods.”
NorthPointe Woods welcomed Chef Potzinger to lead their culinary team in 2016. Trained in classic French cuisine at Johnson and Wales in Providence, RI, the executive chef also incorporates his love for Bavarian cuisine from his childhood into his menu selections.
Before joining NorthPointe Woods, Potzinger’s 20 years of professional culinary experience included positions with residential communities in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, MI. He also dedicated five years to the United States Air Force. But his real kitchen experience dates back to practically before Robert was old enough to remember, when he was at the stove with his grandmother, helping her prepare the beloved Austrian breakfast Kaiserchmarn recipe.
With thanks to his grandmother, Potzinger’s recipe earned him entrance, along with 88 chefs across the nation, into Morrison Community Living’s 4th Annual Food Fight.
In April, the executive chef traveled to Chicago, IL, for the regional culinary competition, where he competed against 10 area chefs. His Rhubarb Pear Tart—a NothPointe Woods resident favorite—won him the opportunity to compete in the two-round semi-finals in Buffalo, NY.
Then, in early May, NorthPointe Woods’ residents and staff watched a live video feed from the first round of the New York semi-finals competition and cheered Chef Potzinger on. His preparation of a decadent Raspberry Kahlua Napoleon advanced the chef to the second round, where unfortunately he was eliminated by a narrow margin—just missing entry into the finals.
Morrison’s Food Fight 2017 finals competition was scheduled for June 8 at noon, when five chef finalists were scheduled to battle it out—and local Chef Potzinger nearly made it. When asked if he was disappointed he wouldn’t be there, he replied, “It was just awesome competing against great chefs across the country!”
The staff and residents of NorthPointe Woods also thought it was “mighty awesome” that their executive chef finished sixth out of 89 chefs. After all, he nearly won the food fight!