Hospital chef rejects the term "hospital food"

Kaiser Permanente encourages chef-led kitchens at Oregon hospitals.

March 14—Baked salmon with blood orange salsa. Pho. Smoked tomato ragu over roasted red bell pepper ravioli.

All those dishes prepared in a chef-led kitchen with local ingredients. At a hospital.

That’s right, Kaiser Permanente Northwest is breaking the stereotype at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center in Clackamas and will do the same when it opens Westside Medical Center in Hillsboro in 2013.

“In the past, no one who could choose to go elsewhere would eat at a hospital,” said Greg Gates, executive chef at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center. “But we have people who eat here regularly for no reason other than they like the food.”

Sunnyside is at the forefront of a growing movement by hospitals to let executive chefs lead culinary services.

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Orange County Community College in upstate New York is replacing its dining staff with vending machines , The Times Herald-Record reports.

The staff members, who will be let go in June, include nine full-time and three part-time workers. Students say they will miss the employees and the access to fresh food.

The Orange County Community College Association, which oversees the school’s cafeterias, says the layoffs were partly due to a $150,000 deficit accumulated by foodservice operations last year.

Read the full story via The Times Herald-Record .

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Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, is eliminating paper cups in its Commons dining hall and has given each student a reusable stainless steel mug as a replacement, bates.edu reports.

The mugs were distributed via a promotion earlier this week where students could fill their new mugs with a free smoothie. Stickers and other trinkets were set out for students to use to “bling” their mugs.

Dining services turned to students to determine which type of mug would be offered. The college also installed a mug-washing sink in the dining Commons earlier this year.

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Compass has partnered with Jose Andres ’ ThinkFoodGroup, allowing the chef and foodservice vendor to collaborate at such venues as stadiums and college campuses.

“With this partnership, we have the opportunity to tell stories and connect with people through food on an entirely new level,” Andres said in a release.

The three-year team-up comes shortly after Andres opened a ThinkFoodLab pop-up in Washington, D.C., which will serve as a recipe R&D space for his restaurant group.

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