Transylvania Regional Hospital names new director of food and nutrition services

James Hargis shares his commitment to providing quality food and nutrition.

James Hargis, the new director of food and nutrition services at Transylvania Regional Hospital (TRH), is a certified dietary manager, certified food protection professional and certified executive chef. He previously oversaw operations at a properties resort in Cashiers and worked as an executive chef in an upscale retirement community in south Florida and various restaurants in Chicago, Atlanta and San Diego.

Hargis holds a culinary degree and has trained in Europe at multiple Michelin Star restaurants. He also worked closely with Chef Jean Banchet at Le Francais.

At TRH, Hargis will be responsible for overseeing patient meals, catering and managing staff and visitor dining at the hospital’s café. He has also created a new menu cycle for patients, which is based around from-scratch cooking, according to The Transylvania Times.

Hargis and the other foodservice staff members have created a program called “Dinner-to-Go” for hospital employees and local community. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, meals can be placed for pick up before 1 p.m. and can be picked up between 5 and 6 p.m. that day. Dinners are prepared in two-person increments, costing $5 per person and $4.50 for hospital employees. All meals also include a side salad and dinner roll. The department’s current goal is to expand this program to five days a week.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources