Special events, off-site catering, chef demonstrations and lunch & learns are all daily happenings that are becoming more frequent in hospital foodservice operations. In the past, hospitals would hire outside vendors and restaurants to do this part of the business, but now as the chef influence is more pronounced in healthcare kitchens, the in-house culinary teams are rising to the occasion to take center stage.
Recently, to help celebrate Doctors Day, we did just that. As part of the event, we had a station with handmade sushi rolled right in front of you. It was the third time we’ve now done this, each time more of a success. While leaving the room after the initial set-up, I was walking back to the kitchen and thinking to myself, “How lucky we are to have the talent to pull this off ?” The addition of some key players to our culinary team has really made a difference.
Our in-house sushi chef Jonas Feliciano, originally from Central Luzon in the Philippines, arrived in North Carolina in 1996. Upon his arrival he started to work in a local Japanese restaurant as a potwasher the day after he arrived, and subsequently has not looked back since. After spending nearly fifteen years honing his new career in various Asian restaurants in and around Raleigh, he finally found his home with our team here in 2011, where he has frequently showcased his unique talents and passion for sushi for our catering and special events team.
As seen above, Chef Jonas loves to interact with his customers, and on this day, they were lining up to taste his art. We could have easily called a local restaurant and pre-ordered the sushi to be made for us, but when it’s done right in front of your eyes by a co-worker, it makes it all the more special. Once again – “New School Hospital Food.”