Festive Feasts

Fresh, seasonal fare for holiday meals.

Foodservice operators always look to impress, but during the winter holiday season the stakes are even higher, as chefs seek innovative methods to help customers celebrate with family, friends and colleagues. On the non-commercial side, operators have the difficult task of ensuring the holiday feast is not only delicious, but healthy as well.

New Milford Hospital, Conn.

Serving a Christmas dinner that is delicious, festive and healthful in a hospital café is nothing extraordinary for Kerry Gold, Unidine dining service director and executive chef at New Milford Hospital. Day in and day out his kitchen prepares fresh, seasonal foods from scratch, winning praise from the staff and patients of the 88-bed facility as well as area residents who visit for lunch.

“We don’t use the old ‘can to pan’ approach,” says Gold. “The culinarians on my team are cutting fresh broccoli right now. We don’t use any precut vegetables. Even for our patient tray line we make fresh mashed potatoes every day.”

Gold gets as much produce as he can from local farmers. In early December, he was getting local potatoes, broccoli and winter spinach. Because he cooks from scratch, he controls the sodium. He favors herbs rather than salt for flavoring. His chef-crafted menus are priced at an extremely modest $6 for a complete meal.

Past holiday repasts have featured traditional fare like roast turkey, prime rib, roast pork, twice-baked potatoes and pumpkin pie. But at press time, Gold was pondering a different tack for the upcoming Christmas menu.

“I would love to do a European-style Christmas here, which would traditionally be roast goose or duck trimmed up nicely,” says Gold. “You could accompany it with many interesting things, like sauerkraut, braised red cabbage and caramelized Brussels sprouts.”

New Milford Hospital Menu Sampler

• Thanksgiving Chef’s Table: Roast turkey, baked stuffed shells, herb sage stuffing, sweet potato mash, green beans, housemade cranberry sauce

• Soup: Butternut squash bisque

• Salad: Mixed green salad

• Grab & Go features: Sandwich: Egg salad on a croissant, turkey, ham, or roast beef sandwich; salads: grilled asparagus, garden Salad, fresh fruit salad 

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Six Philadelphia hospitals were honored by the city’s department of public health for healthy food initiatives introduced as part of the local Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program, bizjournals.com reports .

The hospitals each debuted healthy measures to their dining services, such as lowering the cost of water bottles and seltzers, and offering dishes that incorporate local produce. One hospital was also honored for operating its own organic farm.

The facilities that were honored were:

Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Eastern...
Sponsored Content
chili flakes and peppers spicy hot

From Catallia.

When planning your menus, take note: college and university students think spicy is hot.

Fifty-seven percent of consumers age 18-34 find spicy flavors, “extremely appealing,” according to Technomic. And almost 50% of college students surveyed said they would like their schools to offer more ethnic foods and beverages, states a recent Technomic College & University Consumer Trend Report. Translation: they like their food kicked up a notch!

More Options than Ever

“Students of today are all about flavor,” says Steve Mangan, director of dining for...

Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo is partnering with celebrity chef Robert Irvine in an attempt to provide military communities with healthier meals.

The 10-year partnership will allow Sodexo to access chef Irvine’s knowledge of nutrition and fitness in its aim to benefit the quality of life for military members, the vendor said in a news release.

Sodexo hopes that Irvine’s popularity as the host of Food Network’s "Restaurant: Impossible" will draw attention to its commitment to nutrition, health and well being. Irvine also has a military history himself—before embarking on his culinary career, he...

Industry News & Opinion

The cafeteria at the Smithsonian's new National Museum for African American History and Culture is intended to be an extension of the museum, showcasing stations that offer cuisines from different geographic locations such as the Creole coast and agricultural South, Time reports .

The eatery, Sweet Home Cafe, was set up to highlight the wide range of African-American cuisine, Executive Chef Jerome Grant told Time. When it officially opens later this month, it will serve dishes such as shrimp and grits, pan-roasted oysters and a fried catfish po’boy.

Celebrity chef Carla...

FSD Resources