(Photography by Kevin Van Paassen)
Hospital food has long had a bad reputation, but Sunnybrook is leading the charge to change that perception.
With a new production kitchen, customized menus, the guidance of nutrition experts and an executive chef at the helm, in-patients now have every reason to clean their plates.
Sunnybrook’s “Fresh Flex” menu is tailored to fit patients’ needs, within a wide range of culturally diverse dishes. Patients submit their food preferences, then meals are personalized in compliance with their medically prescribed diet. Most recipes are made from scratch on-site in a newly renovated kitchen.
Sunnybrook’s first executive chef, Serge Kostenko, and a team of experienced cooks manage every step of the process.
Fresh meal items and more choice may be welcome perks for patients, but there’s another important benefit: they can boost recovery. Research shows that providing quality nutrition can accelerate the healing process and can decrease a patient’s length of stay.
For overall health and happiness, good food matters!
- The production kitchen
Sunnybrook’s newly renovated space is brimming with fresh ingredients and cutting-edge equipment. Recipes for the dishes are formulated in an off-site test kitchen to ensure they can be replicated on a larger scale.
- Meal selection
Inpatients are offered a customized selection of dinner choices, which they preorder on iPads brought to their bedside.
- The personalized ticket
Each order generates a ticket, which tells kitchen staff exactly how to customize each meal. Approximately 3,000 meals are prepared daily.
- Tray assembly
Freshly cooked items are assembled on each patient’s tray one meal in advance.
- Final preparation on the unit
Meals are transported from the kitchen to each patient care unit, where specialized equipment reheats each tray to a specific preset temperature.
- Distribution to patients
Customized dinner items are delivered to each patient’s room.
- Bon appétit
Patients tuck into their meals at their bedsides. After dinner, patients are encouraged to provide feedback. This survey information will help inform future menu choices.