CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Good food for the staff and a donation to a vital children’s cause  – that’s what Janene John was thinking when she designed the first celebrity cook-off on Monday at Broward Health Coral Springs.

“It’s good for everyone to enjoy,” said the hospital’s chief human resources officer.

And so, the battle was on between brisket and Jambalaya  – with the champion decided Tuesday when those meals are served in the hospital cafeteria, and whichever meal is purchase more will be crowned the winner.

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The money spent on those meals will be donated to support services for children with special needs at Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center in Fort Lauderdale.

Outside the cafeteria, where Mardi Gras-style hats were placed on tables and Cajun music blared from speakers, the first to begin cooking was the Jambalaya team, made up of Coral Springs public safety officials: Deputy Police Chief Shawn Backer, Fire Rescue Chief Michael McNally, and Fire Rescue Division Chief Juan Cardona.

“It’s really good and even better the next day,” Backer said, as he worked fast to mix a small mountain of spices in a deep bowl.

Their competitors -- Alan Goldsmith, the hospital’s chief administrative officer, and a hospital sous chef – prepared Goldsmith’s family brisket recipe.

Judging the meals were the hospital’s top officials: Chief Executive Officer Jared Smith, Chief Operating Officer Michael Leopold, Chief Nursing Officer Cheryl Wild, Chief Financial Officer Maureen Martin, and John.

But the true judges would be the workers and others eating the meals in the cafeteria the next day.

“It’s all for a good cause,” John said.