CIA and Vassar Brothers Hospital partner to improve hospital food

Elective course focuses on healthcare foodservice.

March 13—Students at the Culinary Institute of America are learning how to cook for medical communities, like hospitals, nursing homes and senior housing as part of an elective class at the CIA.

"So we're looking at the best way to deliver that food; how to maintain the chemical values of that food so that it reaches the patient in the best quality than it can possibly be" explains Culinary Institute professor, Lynn Eddy.

The students taking the class already have an appetite for changing the status quo of institutional cooking. Just ask Emily Li, a senior at the Culinary Institute.

"I think you can actually get someone to actually want to eat the food at the hospital because every time I was at the hospital I didn't like anything at all,"

That's why Li is eager to soak up lessons from Anthony Fischetti, the executive chef at Vassar Brother's Hospital.

"We have room service which is just like an a la cart restaurant service."

Fischetti has worked at some of the top restaurants in the country an he brings the same prescription for fine dining to the hospital. The emphasis is on fresh.

"The key is fresh food, using fresh herbs."

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
tray number

We created lucky tray days to help create an experience surrounding our brand. The trays are numbered; we pick a number and the winner receives a free lunch. We’ve enlisted the help of one of our coaches, who calls out the random lucky winner, and it drums up a lot of excitement.

Menu Development
recipe revamp chicken soup

As a continuous care retirement community, The Garlands of Barrington in Illinois provides daily foodservice to 270 independent living and skilled nursing care residents, with the majority of sodium restrictions coming from the latter, says Executive Chef Nicola Torres. Instead of cooking two versions of chicken noodle soup—a favorite offered at least twice a week—he reworked his recipe into a flavorful lower-sodium version that appeals to all. “Everybody eats soup, so I created a homemade stock that uses no salt at all, ramping up the flavor with fresh herbs and plenty of vegetables,...

Ideas and Innovation
bus advertising jagermeister

Because many locals use the bus system, we paid for some full bus wraps to advertise [job openings within] our dining services program. The buses go all over campus where students can see them, and to apartments where the public can see them. To top it off, the cost wasn’t much more than newspaper rates.

Managing Your Business
line kings girl goat open kitchen

Open kitchen concepts satisfy guests’ curiosity and desire for transparency. But there are some caveats. Here’s how to create a positive experience for both staff and customers when the walls are down.

Train to serve

With the back-of-house up front, everybody gets hospitality training. “Our cooks understand the food and what they’re doing incredibly, but translating that to guests requires [soft] skills that need to be honed,” says Marie Petulla, co-owner of two restaurants in Southern California.

Dress for a mess

At Girl & The Goat in Chicago, chef-owner Stephanie...

FSD Resources