Members of the Food Services team tour the Kitchen set to open in 2022.
Roasted red pepper herbed frittata, hot egg and cheese breakfast sandwich, berry parfait – oh my! As part of the Renew Sinai redevelopment project, we’re transforming the Mount Sinai Hospital Kitchen, including its menus. Jessica Godin, Manager, Patient Food Services and Milk Preparation Room, shares the dramatic, impressive changes we can look forward to when the new space opens in 2022.
Q. Jessica, what’s new and exciting in the Kitchen?
Each and every inch of the Kitchen will be new and exciting. Our current Kitchen is 45 years old. Almost everything is at the end of its life cycle. The new space will have new technology and equipment. The equipment will be built-in for better flexibility. We will have a new exhaust system, a state-of-the-art dishwasher which uses less energy and water, and a meal preparation system which improves work flow, promotes more efficient tray preparation and overall operations. The system will allow us to grow as the Hospital grows. We’ve even added some fun items, like a stone pizza oven and specialty coffee machines.
Q. Why is the Kitchen so important?
It’s important for so many reasons. Food builds connections. It’s essential for healing and can spark joy. Our goal is to really encourage healing through food.
Q. What will the Kitchen mean to patients?
There are typically negative connotations when people hear “hospital food”, so we are working hard to revitalize our menus using our new equipment. The redevelopment provides a great opportunity for us to take a step back and see what we can do better. The new Kitchen will enable us to develop more culturally inclusive, patient-focused menus and service models.
Q. What’s planned for the opening?
In addition to upgrading our menus, we are investigating adding more in-house cooking, as now much of our food is pre-packaged. We also plan to introduce à la carte options to our Women’s and Infants’ program, and hope to roll this out to all our patients in the near future.
Q. What’s planned for down the road?
Currently, patients select their meals for the upcoming day. Our new model will implement bedside technology allowing patients menu selection for the current day. The goal is that by enabling same day selection, patient food intake may increase. A bit further down the road, our Alternate Meal Prep Area will give patients the opportunity to order their own customized meals. There’s a lot to be excited about.