Doctors Hospital at Renaissance chef serves up healthy, delicious food

Executive chef Luis Espinoza shares the ins and outs of providing healthy and tasty hospital food to a variety of customers.

MCALLEN, Texas—Getting better is the goal of any patient in a hospital, and according to Executive Chef Luis Espinoza, eating the right foods is a big part of that process.

“The doctors count on us to make sure the food is (made) properly so they can modify and help the people who are here,” the Harlingen resident said. “… If (patients) aren’t getting better, we need to figure out why.”

Espinoza heads up the cafeteria and kitchen at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, providing nutritious foods for patients, staff and visitors. He will also be demonstrating how to make food that both healthy and delicious at the Por Vida Food Festival, which is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 27, at the Pharr Events Center.

For those who do have diabetes or are trying to lose weight, the chef and a nutritionist on staff lead cooking classes at the hospital.

Espinoza offers the students healthy alternatives. For example, instead of frying, he would suggest roasting chicken or grilling.

At the hospital, Espinoza must stick to strict recipes for those who are on special needs diets such as low-fat, no-sodium, gluten-free or sugar- free.

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