Farmington Station Honored For Food Services

Originally published in the Farmington Patch.

A local assisted living community is celebrating the recent success of its food department after earning major honors at a competition pitting Connecticut assisted living chefs against each other.

Claribel Alago (left), Director of Dining Experience at Farmington Station and Brian Main (right), Sous Chef at Farmington Station

And, after the recent chef competition hosted by the Connecticut Assisted Living Association, it offers award-winning food and culinary services.

Farmington Station Director of Dining Experience Claribel Alago recently won first place in the Seafood Flight category at the CALA Chef Challenge, which was on March 23 at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville (Southington).Alago, along with her sous chef, Brian Main, prepared a seafood dish that earned them the Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice Awards.

The first component of the dish was trifongo, a traditional Puerto Rican dish made of green plantains, yellow plantains, and yucca. Alago and Main added the starches to a mortar and pestle and mashed them together, along with olive oil and fresh garlic, according to Farmington Station. The team then cooked tiger shrimp with sofrito, a mixture of aromatics often found in Puerto Rican and Latin American cuisine. It included sweet peppers, cilantro, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, wrote the community in an announcement.

Finally, the chefs plated the shrimp and sofrito on top of the trifongo and served the dish to a panel of judges.

“Competitors were judged based on the organization of their workstations, their cooking skills, technique, and execution of the dishes, the creativity and craftsmanship utilized in their cooking, and the taste and nutritional value of the food,” wrote Farmington Station.

“The judges were all blown away by the stunning presentation and bold flavors of the trifongo with tiger shrimp. They praised the superb quality of the dish and the extraordinary talent displayed in its execution.”

Alago said cooking, simply, is a passion of hers.

“Cooking has always been something I enjoyed, and growing up I watched my great grandmother cook,” said Alago. “I enjoy watching and hearing how much my residents enjoy our food here at Farmington Station. The love of cooking is in my blood.”