Home Care staff don chef hats in epic epicurean competition

Home Care colleagues and friends turned their love of food into some friendly rivalry last week in their first Home Care Cook-Off at Full Life Care’s Columbia City offices.

After a year of relative isolation from most of their peers, the chance to stage a small get-together and reconnect was satisfying as the tasty fare.

Mindful of COVID safety protocols, vaccinated staff still wore masks and kept as much distance between them as a kitchen would allow. But Thursday afternoon was warm and sunny, perfect for socializing and dining outdoors.

Five teams, organized by office location or staff function, have been planning (and scheming winning recipes) for weeks, said Cook-Off organizer Rae Kirumbi.

“Everybody is taking this very seriously,” Rae said, smiling. “Some very serious fun, here!”

While everything tasted great, the Federal Way office team took top honors with their chicken and rice pilaf creation. The Golden Spatula will reside in a place of honor (probably on top of the refrigerator in their break room) until next year’s competition.

For people who had been used to regular potluck-style lunches and other activities, the Cook-Off was less about competition and more about camaraderie, even with a mask.

“Activities like this are really needed,” said Gregory Schaffer, Home Care Director. “This has been a challenging year, especially for social service people like us who are meant to be working with other people.

“That’s our business, right?”