The Facebook Post That Changed My Day

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While scrolling through my Facebook news feed today, I read something that truly inspired me, and instantly made me feel good. In turn, I hit the thumbs up sign  just like everyone else does when they read or see a picture they like. But this time, it was different, because it helped me to establish a huge similarity I have with a long-lost friend of mine.  Then, as the time went on today,  I said “Wow…I really have a lot in common with him.” This him is Chef Cameron Gray.

First off, we shared the same grammar school, St. Joseph School in Florida, NY. This was a very small school, and my eighth grade graduation class only had 12 kids. Next, it was  two separate high schools that we both attended at the same time, John S. Burke Catholic Goshen N.Y., and Warwick Valley High School in Warwick, N.Y. Thirdly, we both attended The Culinary Institute of America at the same time, as I can remember seeing him in the kitchens there like it was yesterday. Lastly, we both shared time working in the historic kitchens at The Arden House in Harriman, N.Y., early in our culinary journeys.

Chef Cameron Gray is extremely talented and passionate. In his career, he has successfully led culinary teams throughout some of the finest dining establishments throughout New York’s Hudson Valley region. He built a reputation throughout the local chef network for his sound technique, and simple utilization of pristine quality ingredients. And now like me, he takes his talents  out of his comfort zone, into the world of healthcare cuisine.

Below you will see the simple status update posted by Chef Cameron on Facebook. This really made me smile, as it forced me to reflect on my team, and what we are doing daily to change the reputation of “Hospital Food”.  I’m glad to see another talented colleague find happiness in utilizing his passion to create memorable meals for his residents as well. Cheers Chef!

The following was his post…

My job is not without its challenges. It can be depressing getting attached to residents and losing them, the knowledge that at any point I could be cooking their last meal weighing on me. Frustrating , attempting to make 100 frequently cranky and confused elderly people happy. Sad watching them deteriorate. Most of them alone at this point, having been abandoned by their families and having lost their spouses long ago. This is also a kosher facility, so I can’t cook pork, which I find infuriating.
So today I made them bacon. Bacon from brisket I’d cured last week. I expected that they would appreciate it, but they were overjoyed. Ecstatic. It’s rare to be able to effect so many people in this way. I understand this. So, today I cook happily in God’s waiting room doling out pieces of cured beef with a smile on my face, grateful that I got a chance to do it.”
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About Chef Ryan CEC

I'm the Executive Chef for Rex Healthcare's Culinary & Nutritional Services team in Raleigh, NC. We are doing some amazing things. We are changing the perception of "Hospital Food"- one meal at a time.
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