Contact: Joy Sutton, Marketing Communications Mgr. Nancy May, VP Marketing & PR
LewisGale Regional Health System - (540) 776-4739 or (540)529-3137
LewisGale Regional Health System - (540) 776-4754 or (540) 537-3475

Salem, Virginia, April 2012 - When he's not operating on a patient at LewisGale Medical Center, you'll find General Surgeon David Violette, M.D., in the kitchen doctoring up his chili recipe for the 33rd Annual Virginia State Championship Chili Cook-off. His team, Surgical Precision Chili, is hoping to carve out a spot at the top with a secret chili recipe Dr. Violette has been perfecting for months.

_��My wife has been eating chili every week for the past four months,_ѝ he said with a chuckle. _��I've always enjoyed making chili and after months of preparation, I've come up with a unique recipe that includes more than two dozen ingredients. I would describe it as a little bit of sweet with a little bit of heat._ѝ

His surgical skills are coming in handy in the kitchen, from chopping up fresh veggies to butchering more than 400 pounds of brisket and sirloin.

_��When it came to choosing a career, it was either go to medical school or become a chef,_ѝ he said. _��This competition is allowing me to combine my love for both passions._ѝ

This is his first time cooking for more than 8,000 customers, which is no small feat. Dr. Violette and his team will have to make 90 gallons of chili. He has spent around $4,000 of his own money on restaurant equipment and food for the competition.

_��This is for a great cause,_ѝ he said. _��If my team wins we plan to give the prize money to the Greenvale School. For me, this competition is not about the trophy or the money, but getting involved in my community and giving back._ѝ

Dr. Violette is new to the Roanoke Valley. He joined LewisGale Physicians last year. To learn more about him, go to

His team includes his wife Jennifer and brother Robert, along with two LewisGale nurses, Tonya Quesenberry, L.P.N., Brenda Jones, L.P.N.,

_��I look forward to meeting many new people and giving the community a taste of my legendary chili,_ѝ said Violette.

The Chili Cook-off is May 5 at Railside Plaza in Downtown Roanoke from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. All the proceeds from the event go to scholarship tuition fund at Greenvale School.

About LewisGale Medical Center

LewisGale Medical Center is part of LewisGale Regional Health System which includes 4 hospitals, 2 regional cancer centers, 6 outpatient centers and affiliations with nearly 700 physicians, including 135 employed providers and 550 independent physicians. With more than 3,100 employees, its annual payroll is $220.5 million. The system also paid $33 million in taxes and provided more than $86 million in uncompensated care to those most in need in 2010. LewisGale is also part of HCA Virginia, the largest and most comprehensive healthcare provider in the Commonwealth with more than 13,000 employees. For more information see