UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif., started serving “farm-to-fork” meals to patients for the first time earlier this month.
The first dish on the menu was a short-rib sandwich made with grass-fed beef, according to Fox 40 News in Sacramento. The burger is comprised of a locally baked bun, braised short rib that has been cooked for approximately three to four hours, a chimichurri sauce and kale slaw with citrus vinaigrette.
The hospital is introducing the new items to patients gradually, with farm-to-fork inspired dishes offered on different nights of the week. Other items include a risotto vegan burger with patties made of mushrooms, roasted red pepper sauce and black bean vinaigrette.
The new program was born out of a desire to cook with fresh, in-season ingredients, unspoiled by preservatives or unidentifiable ingredients, sous chef Jet Aguirre told the station.
“[Patients are] surprised that it’s actually hospital food,” he said.
The program, spearheaded by Executive Chef Santana Diaz, also integrates local ingredients into the menu at the hospital’s cafe. Chef Diaz was responsible for a similar effort at the Golden 1 Center sports arena in Sacramento prior to joining UC Davis Medical Center.