Defying Stereotype, Hospital Wins Coveted First Place In Chowder Cook-Off

News Media Contact: Bruce Lewis, 707-813-1197

Hearty Sweet Potato Clam Chowder Voted Best By Fort Bragg Whale Festival Attendees

FORT BRAGG, Calif. — March 22, 2012 — OK, we all know what comes to mind when the subject of hospital food is brought up. Boring, maybe, at best. Well Mendocino Coast District Hospital Chef Daniel Segura and assistant Shondra Sanders have put a big dent in the hospital food stereotype, beating out professional chefs from seven other establishments to win the highly competitive chowder cook-off at this year’s annual Whale Festival in Fort Bragg, March 17-18.

Who knew hospital food could be so good?

The recipe is available at MCDH.Org/chowder, and appears below.

Hearty Sweet Potato Clam Chowder

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook: 1 hour

Shelf life: 5 days

Portion: 8 ounces

Number of portions: 8


1  chopped yellow onion

4   stalks chopped celery

4   peeled/cubed yams

1   8-oz can clam meat drained

1/2 cup flour

2  T  fresh dill

2 T   fresh parsley

1   qt half and half

1/2   cup olive oil

3   8-oz cans clam juice

Place yams in a pan cover with clam juice and bring to boil. While waiting, sauté onions and celery in 1/2 up olive oil for 8-10 minutes.  Stir continuously and add flour to make roux.

When yams are tender, add to onion and celery mixture, then cook for 8 minutes, stirring continuously. Add dill and chopped parsley, then thin with 1/2 and 1/2 until desired thickness. Add clams last so they don’t become tough. Salt and pepper to taste.

Nutritional Value:

Calories: 371

Fat: 56%

Carbohydrates:  25 mg.

About Mendocino Coast District Hospital: Mendocino Coast District Hospital is a 25-bed acute care facility licensed by the State of California Department of Health Services and accredited by The Joint Commission.  MCDH provides emergency, inpatient and outpatient services, and healthcare education to prevent, manage and treat chronic and acute conditions. The hospital is located on the California coast, approximately 160 miles north of San Francisco.