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any hospital chefs out there?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
:roll::crazy: these 2 smilies are a good generalization of my new job. looking for advice from chef experienced in the industrial food service.
post #2 of 17
I'm not in hospitals, but do industrial work at a food manufacturer. If you would like to pick my brain, send me a PM and I'll help if I can.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks bunches. not sure what PM is- new to this forum. appreciate any guidance

thank you

post #4 of 17
Hi Kendra,
I've worked in the healthcare scene for almost three years now and have many friends that have been in it for quite some time.
What kind of info are you looking for? I started in 05 in a 375 bed hospital and am now in a 400 unit retirement center.
post #5 of 17
If you click the user name, you will get to another screen where you can send private messages (pm's). Again, I'm happy to help where I can.
post #6 of 17

pastry chef at hospital

Hey, I am currently at a hospital working on the dessert/cakes.
Any menu ideas out there?
Also working on specials for the cafe line.....

bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry
post #7 of 17
so in a hospital its a bed and in a retirement center its a unit...

lol, mental image of old people in labelled boxes...
post #8 of 17

What are you serving for lunch today?

We serve both patients and have a well known cafe and express store.

I was wondering, what is everyone serving for meals today and through the weekend?

bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry
post #9 of 17
I have worked in healthcare for more years than I wanna looking for a forumn that we could bounce stuff off in. lets see todays menu was Beef Pot Pie, herbed green beans, whole wheat bread, strawberry topped cheesecake the alternate was open faced hot pork sandwich with gingered carrots. If I can help with any questions let me know
post #10 of 17

just the sweets

Today is Peanut Butter Cake, Peach Cobbler, Carrot Cake and Chocolate Coffee Chiffon.

There is a spring roll (summer roll) with a peanut sauce here that would knock your socks off.

Patients sweet for the day is Sugar Cookie

I am working on Splenda replacement for sugar in several items for sugar restricted patients:

Sugar Cookie
Gingerbread Cookie

So far the Splenda Measure for Measure product is working out very well.
I may try out the Equal for baking too.
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry
post #11 of 17

I've worked for a hospital kitchen for over 20 years, I still really like my job,

But the way things are set up its hard to be very creative and stay with in a very small budget,.I'm trying to come up with different ideas for the cafe and patient trays, We still make our own soups and casseroles, 

The facility I work for is a small community hospital where the employees still think they should get food for the same price they did 20 years  I have found that if I make one person happy a day I'm

Not sure if there are any other hospital or healthcare workers here but it would be nice if there

post #12 of 17

Cookie -


I am at a retirement (age in place) community.  I am challenged to make one person happy each day also!  I have been working the breakfast and lunch shift (service for 200) during training and now I'm alone on the shift. Have to say, it's been a real challenge to get all food prepared, temped, and into Cabrio boxes for the homemakers to pick up and deliver.  I came from a small cafe that served lunch but had a decent catering component to it, so I thought this would be a piece of cake. I'm struggling with the shift starts at 5:30 am, food has to be ready for pick up at 7:00 am.   Any tips for picking up the pace would be appreciated.


Chef Meesh


PS Breakfast menu today:  Oatmeal, cream of wheat, bacon, sausage links and patties, scrambled eggs, hard cooked eggs, fried eggs.  Lunch :  Chicken Parmesan, Spaghetti w Marinara, Italian vegs, Tomato Basil Cheddar soup,   Accompaniments such as breads, desserts and salads are provided by the cold food/baked goods cook.    I have to prepare grinds and purees for those folks who can't eat the regular food too....that bogs me down.  I do prepare my meat tray the day before and pop them in the produce cooler so I just have to throw them in the oven.

post #13 of 17

Chef Meesh,

I used to help out at the senior center here in town and had to do the box meals 'meals on wheels' program. it was hectic! 

If your doing 200 by yourself I know your busting butt!


We start at the same time here in our kitchen and my employees  the new ones have trouble with the time also. I tell them the hardest part is the time schedule.But they will get it. I have one lady that I was kinda worried about, she seemed to move at one pace. I told her, You really need to speed it up just a little bit. We are not like other departments that if they are off a few mins. it doesn't matter, We are on a strict time table.


When I worked it. I tried to pre-prep all the items that I could. Like putting the meat on the trays to just pop them in the oven

.Biscuits go in the oven first and the meat   I get the things that take the longest in the oven first, Get the pans of water on for the hot cereals,We buy a 'kettle oat' that holds up so much better than the quick oats and we can add the boiling water cover them and get them in the steam table with out having to mess with them much.

we kind of cheat for the purees. We buy a really good pre-done puree, shaped, taste is good. (I've tasted them) it saves so much time and  who ever cooks for the day. the product  is the We had so much trouble with consistency. The grinds we do in the robo coup.

We have a food steamer that we do the Scrambled Eggs in so that helps and what ever else we can steam we do.


.Does anyone help you box up the meals?

We have that meal on sundays

I don't know if I was much help but the more you do it by yourself, The faster you will get, you will find your routine!

post #14 of 17



See, I don't get to do the ordering so I don't get the ready made puree.  It's Robo Coupe for me too, all the way. 


They order quick oats here, so first thing on is three kettles of water (oatmeal, cream of wheat and hard cooked eggs)


The grounds and purees go in the steamer, and I was instructed to do all the eggs on the flat top. 


Nobody helps me pan.  I pan, load them in the auto shams, then when the housekeepers come down, I load the Cambrios.  It's a bear.


We have a dietary manager who makes all the meals on wheels, that  is something I don't have to mess with, thank goodness.


I left my comfy cafe job, took a pay cut to work at this place. I wanted to work full time and my cafe isn't open enough hours of the week, and the owner has a control issue thing.  I would be happy to help her with her shopping and prep, but I realize she has to control costs also.

I really like it, but I feel like I'm flogging my guts out.  I could go back to my old job in a second. 

Thanks for the ear, Cookie. 

post #15 of 17

Any time,

It helps to have someone to talk to!

I'm trying to figure out how to make things better in our cafe and do a little more with what I have to work with. limited staff and budget.

It is a challenge there has been plenty of times i've wanted to go back to just

post #16 of 17

BUMP!! So I'm starting as Sous Chef at a Hospital on Long island next week, looking forward to being employed again. Anybody with any tips, I'd much appreciate it!

post #17 of 17

Hi all!  I'm glad to have stumbled upon ChefTalk tonight, and even more, upon this thread.


Five months ago, I started working at a retirement home as a dietary aide.  The coordinators were aware that I was studying culinary arts at a community college and trained me for the prep and head cook positions (it's a small home of about 60 residents so these are really the only two cook positions).  I am near graduation and this week learned that the head cook position is available.  The opportunity has presented itself to me but I'm feeling nervous.  At school, we've been trained for serving immediately after cooking rather than hot holding for buffet style service.  The way the former head cook set things up, the food seems to be held in the oven far longer than what is seemingly necessary before bringing it upstairs to the dining room, essentially killing the food moreso than what regular hot holding would do.  Also, I seem to not be in the know about the many tips and tricks to keeping foods as nice as possible.  For example, lining the bottom of a hotel pan with slices of bread to keep dinner rolls from getting hard.  


I was asked to fill the cook position this weekend and I feel myself getting worries that my chicken fingers will get soggy.  What's the best way to keep them crispy?

I understand what some of you have said about the "if I can't make one person happy, it's been a good day."  Residents tend to share their criticisms quite often, and being the one who currently serves the meals, I'm the first to hear about it.  I know I must come to terms that there are so many palates to please and that satisfying them all is impossible, still, I don't want to disappoint.  


Any advice? 

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