What could you make in 45 minutes if you were given these four ingredients as your starting point: Mascarpone cheese, bistro pizza crust, leeks, and flat iron steak? Four of Vincentian’s culinary managers rose to the challenge in a video and the results were nothing short of delicious.

Borrowing from the Food Network cooking show “Chopped,” Vincentian’s Executive Chef Cindy Chartrand created a similar competition with some help from film students at the Pittsburgh Technical College (PTC) who captured it all on video.

“I wanted a way to showcase our culinary team’s talents and to build some camaraderie among our communities. What better way to do that than with a little friendly and fun competition in front of a camera?” explained Cindy.

In front of many cameras, several PTC students, and 4 judges. No pressure.

Participating in the challenge were culinary managers:

  • Ebony Thomas, representing Vincentian de Marillac
  • Morgan Phillips, representing Vincentian Marian Manor
  • Chris Cima, representing the North Hills
  • Eric Andrejeski, representing Vincentian Schenley Gardens


Ebony Thomas
Vincentian de Marillac

Morgan Phillips
Vincentian Marian Manor

Chris Cima
North Hills

Eric Andrejeski
Vincentian Schenley Gardens

Just like the TV show, each chef was given 45 minutes and a basket filled with the four mystery ingredients: mascarpone cheese, bistro pizza crust, leeks, and flat iron steak. They also could raid the kitchen at The Convent for additional items to make their dish stand out.

To ensure impartiality when selecting the winning dish, four independent living residents served as judges: Lorette and Bill Duermeyer from Terrace Place at Vincentian and Kate and George Candreva from Vincentian Villa.


Lorette Duermeyer
Vincentian Terrace Place
Bill Duermeyer
Vincentian Terrace Place
Kate Candreva
Vincentian Villa
George Candreva
Vincentian Villa

What dishes did they prepare? 

  • Ebony made flat iron steak tidbits with mushrooms, onions and roasted tomatoes on a bed of leeks with a star fruit garnish.
  • Morgan made skirt steak en croute stuffed with peppers and mascarpone cheese. They were seasoned with Cajun and cocoa powder and then seared and baked wrapped with pizza dough. The dish was served with sauteed vegetables in a whiskey glaze and a mushroom garnish.
  • Chris made an Asian grilled steak wrapped in the pizza dough and served over creamy mascarpone rice noodles with leeks.
  • Eric stripped the bistro pizza crust and boiled them into a noodle consistency, then cooled them down. He made a cream sauce with the mascarpone cheese, asparagus tips, leeks, mushrooms and marsala wine poured over the noodles and garnished with lemon zest.

Who do you think won?

You’ll have to watch the video to find out.

Listen to Cindy’s podcast interviews to learn more about the culinary managers.

Ebony Thomas

Morgan Phillips

Chris Cima