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Two Kitchen Heroes Rise at Cedar Crest as Heroes Are Recognized Across The U.S. For Their Service

May 22, 2013

POMPTON PLAINS, NJ - They lathered up the bread, doled out deli meat as if they were dealing from a card deck and tantalized the taste buds of heroes. Who was this and what were they doing? 
They were residents from the Cedar Crest retirement community who were participating in A Hero Will Rise - a competition to see who could build the best tasting hero sandwich at the community. This competition was extra special because the heroes were judged by everyday heroes- current and past members of the U.S. Military along with fire, security and EMS responders. The "Heroes" were from Cedar Crest and the local community.
See YouTube Link exciting synopsis of competition here: 
The premise of A Hero Will Rise was that each team, consisting of a resident and one of the community's chefs were asked to create the best hero sandwich, based on taste, presentation and originality. They had 15 minutes to do so and had all the fixins' to choose from right in front of them.
The three teams were:
Team # 1:
Chef Chris Detar and Catherine Rattalinio
Team # 2
Chef Charles Johnson and Ruth Lemakos
 Team # 3:
Chef Mickey Tomat and Doris Gedon
 Team # 4
Chef Dino Bellini and Jeanne Shinn
And you can't have a cooking competition without judges! The hero judges were Cedar Crest Sales Director Ray Guarino, who served in the United States Air Force; Cedar Crest Restaurant Manager Jeff Lisk, who served in the United States Army Reserves; Dennis Lonagan, who is the Pequannock Township Fire Marshall; and Kim Marron, who is a Cedar Crest Emergency Medical Services responder.
After a food-filled, furious 15 minutes, it was time to see whose hero would be epic! Judges sampled the wonderful sandwiches and held a brief conference backstage. The voting was tight, but there would be only one heroic hero at Cedar Crest. 
Chef Mickey Tomat and resident Doris Gedon won for their classic Italian Hero. It was the flavors and classic makeup of this sandwich that achieved hero status.
About Cedar Crest:  Cedar Crest is situated on a scenic 104 acre campus in Pompton Plains, New Jersey.  The community is home to approximately 2,000 residents, many of which reside in 1,500 independent living apartment-style homes.  Life at Cedar Crest offers a true sense of community and is an exciting alternative to the typical retirement community.  Additional information about Cedar Crest can be found at

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