Sunrise of Norwood Chef Cooks Up Award Winner

Publish Date:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

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Norwood Patch

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Bob Brown didn't set out to be a celebrity chef when he made his cod in tarragon tomato broth for the residents of Sunrise of Norwood, a senior living community.

He was just trying to find a recipe that was tasty and healthy for the residents, something he has been doing since he joined the staff in 2007.

"Fish is good for the residents," said Brown, who lives in Hanson. "I like to use fresh herbs because we don't use salt, and it gives it flavor. We have salt on the tables for those who can use it."

His recipe was so good and so tasty that Brown was named as the Sunrise Signature Chef and winner of the inaugural SeniorEasts Nutritional Challenge.

It was singled out as "a low-calorie source of protein and a dish high in lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant," said the press release announcing Brown's selection. The panel was made up of seniors who live at Sunrise.

After being a carpenter for 20 years, Brown decided he wanted to be a chef. After talking it over with his wife Joan, he found a weekend program at Johnson & Wales University, working as a carpenter and going to school at the same time. He went on to cook at the Parker House in Boston, while dreaming of opening his own restaurant. 

While he was the chef at the Rockland Golf Course, where he still plays in a golf league, he was talking to a friend where the subject of working in a senior living facility came up. Brown then joined Sunrise where he oversees the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.

Even before he won the award, Brown was very glad being in Norwood. "I'm very happy with what I'm doing," said Brown, 56. "I learn so much here."He says he likes cooking for the residents, finding out what they like and don't like to eat.
Brown said it's mostly comfort food and the recipes they grew up on.

"They want hot dogs and beans on Saturday night," he said with a smile.He says he listens to the residents to hear what they want to eat, but also to find out more about them."They have so much life experience," he said. "You get to know them well."

Here's the recipe:

Cod in Tarragon Tomato Broth
Serves 6

Ingredients
12 Roma tomatoes
½ cup olive oil 
3 tbsp. minced shallots 
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced 
3 tbsp. fresh chopped tarragon 
¾ cup white wine 
1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken stock 
6 (2 ¼ lb. total) cod filets 

Score the tomatoes and plunge into boiling water for 2 minutes.  Remove and shock immediately in ice water.  Remove the skins and seeds, then chop the tomatoes. 

Heat 2/3 of the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the shallots and garlic. Sauté until the shallot has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tarragon, and continue to cook until the tomatoes begin to give up some of their juice, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, and simmer until reduced by half. Add the stock and reduce the heat to low. 

Heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat in a separate non-stick pan.  Place the fish, skin side up, in the pan. Cook until golden brown. 

Turn the fish over, then pour the tomato broth over the fish.  Bring to a simmer until the fish is cooked through.  Serve immediately.

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