ShareThis Page
‘CHOPeration’ pairs doctors, chefs to create liver-healthy cuisine |

‘CHOPeration’ pairs doctors, chefs to create liver-healthy cuisine

Patrick Varine
Paul Morrison, left, a culinary consultant for Sysco Foods Pittsburgh, and Dr. Amit Tevar work on their dish at a previous CHOPeration event.
A “falafel waffle” is one of the dishes from a previous CHOPeration event.
Paul Morrison, culinary consultant for Sysco Foods Pittsburgh, preps a dish at a previous CHOPeration event.
Chef Mark Henry of Chef Mark’s Palate Catering in Latrobe will participate in the upcoming CHOPeration competition.
Tribune-Review file
Chef Josiah Henry of Vallozzi’s adds marinade to a red grouper in this Tribune-Review file photo.
Tribune-Review file
Don Winkie, owner and chef at Eighty Acres, mixes eggs, dijon mustard and mayonnaise for lump crab cakes inside his Plum restaurant in this Tribune-Review file photo.

Paul Morrison, culinary consultant for Sysco Foods Pittsburgh, was all set to cook a beautiful dish at last year’s “CHOPeration” fundraiser, where doctors are paired up with local chefs in a competition style after Food Network’s popular “Chopped” series.

But when Dr. Amit Tevar of the Starzl Transplantation Institute arrived 30 minutes before the competition, things took a drastic turn.

“I found out he was a vegan,” Morrison said, with a laugh. “That certainly changed things.”

This year, The Kitchen by Vangura in North Huntingdon and Excela Health will host the April 25 competition which will feature Morrison as well as chefs from Vallozzi’s in Hempfield, Major Stokes in Greensburg, Eighty Acres in Plum and Chef Mark’s Palate Catering in Latrobe, raising money for the Community Liver Alliance.

“We want to make this a showcase for the local culinary scene and also for liver health awareness,” said Molly Sweet, spokeswoman for the alliance. “It’s also a lot of fun for a doctor’s staff and patients to see their doctor in an unfamiliar situation.”

WPXI’s Aaron Martin will host the event, and attendees do not have to stand stove-side to appreciate the cooking talent.

“We have a bunch of overhead cameras and people will be able to watch the cooking in real time,” said Vangura Customer Relations Director Krystal Vangura. “Aaron will go to each station and talk with the chefs during the competition.”

Each chef/doctor team will have access to a community pantry as well as a “recipe box,” full of ingredients geared toward liver health.

“We’ll have black garlic, micro fennel, sweet potatoes, walnuts, Brussels sprouts, ruby red grapefruit, pea tendrils, ground coffee and sous-vide yellow beets,” Morrison said.

The evening will also include drinks, interactive activities and an auction to raise additional funds for the Community Liver Alliance.

Morrison said his favorite part is seeing people in attendance who are former patients of the participating doctors.

“Last year, every once in a while, Dr. Tevar would point to someone and go, ‘See that person? Saved their life,’” Morrison said. “It was really great to see transplant patients six months from their transplant able to come to a party and have a good time.”

Tickets are $45 and are available at

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.