Aspiring Chefs Set to Compete in First DHWI Cook Off

Former chef to the British royal family among those judging the competition

Get ready to feel the heat of the kitchen.

The inaugural Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute (DHWI) Chef Cook Off is serving up healthy ways to prepare food, and it is helping to make a lasting impact on the lives of those living with diabetes.

The free event, which will be held 2-6 p.m. April 9 at the Latino Cultural Center, will bring together executive chefs and culinary students from area colleges and the Dallas Independent School District. Each group will be competing within their own skill level.

Celebrity Chef Darren McGrady will help judge the competition and will be the keynote speaker for the event.  McGrady is formally the chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Diana Princess of Wales, and Princes William and Harry. He also has cooked for five former U.S. presidents.  McGrady will share stories about his time with the royal family and help judge the aspiring chefs on healthy and nutritious ways to prepare food from the contest cooking challenge.

"The DHWI Cook Off event is a creative way to engage various levels of culinary interest from high school students considering culinary arts as a career; to college students honing their skills for the workforce; to professionals willing to share their craft, and at the same time, compete in a fun and exciting event," said DHWI President Charles Bell, MD.

The live cooking challenge will feature three rounds of competition.

  • High School Challenge: Creative cupcakes using alternative sugars
  • Collegiate Challenge: Pleasing palates by cooking with avocados
  • Professional Chef Challenge: Creating a culinary masterpiece with curry

Professional chefs, including McGrady and David Scalise, executive chef of the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, will judge the competition. Winners at the high school and collegiate level will receive trophies and winning chefs at the executive level will win a set of Mauviel M'Heritage cookware.

The event benefits DHWI, which is the cornerstone of Baylor's Southern Sector Initiative. The Institute was created to address the region's health care needs relative to diabetes. Its mission is to serve all people by providing health and wellness through exemplary care, education and research as a Christian ministry of healing.

"The DHWI Chef Cook Off is a great way to bring the community together around healthy cooking, healthy living and nutrition education in a fun and competitive environment," said Lydia R. Best, MD, medical director of the DHWI Family Health Center. "Healthy eating is paramount to preventing diabetes and other chronic conditions."

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Craig Civale
cell: (817) 709-7067

About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,200 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: