Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

AUG 2018

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18 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • AUGUST 2018 operator's opinion Q&A with James McGrody, UNC REX Healthcare A healthcare chef discusses evolving to a multiconcept foodservice operation. By Donna Boss A s the director of Culinary and Nutrition Services at UNC REX Healthcare in Raleigh, N.C., James (Jim) McGrody oversees a $14 million budget. The private, not-for-profit healthcare system includes 460 acute care beds and 227 skilled nursing beds and treats nearly 34,000 inpatients yearly. The foodservice operation provides more than 1,200 patient meals per day through a 12-hour patient room service operation and an after-hours menu until 1 a.m. with limited offerings. Retail operations include a fresh salad and produce bar, Cib/o-grille and the Showtime Chefs in Motion station; Korner Café featuring Mezza Luna salads and Caprese's Deli stations; and Kardia Café, a restaurant in the Heart and Vascular Hospital adjoined to the main hospital. These operations serve 4,000 customers daily. Other meal operations include cater- ing services, doctors' lounges, adult day care and an onsite childcare facility. Food- service staff include 145 full-time equiva- lents, including 6 clinical dietitians and a team of 7 managers. The operation is also responsible for two 120-bed long-term care facilities providing 675 meals a day. A 2018 IFMA Silver Plate Award winner, McGrody's foodservice career spans 32 years in hotels, restaurants, universities with15 of them in healthcare foodservice, including 9 at UNC REX Healthcare. The New England native and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America is an active volunteer in the Association for Healthcare Foodservice (AHF) and vari- ous charity events. He's also the author of "What We Feed Our Patients." FE&S: How did the strong food culture at UNC Rex come about? JMG: We started by bringing in The Black Hat Chef training program, which turned out to be more than a tool to teach our cooks how to be better. It was the cornerstone for a fundamental transformation of our culture within the kitchen. We went from a tradi- tional institutional hospital foodservice to a kitchen full of passionate restaurant-quality cooks who are totally engaged at every level. We've evolved from there. The highest praise we receive is when visi- tors come into our operation and are amazed at our food culture. It is the first thing they feel when they walk through the doors. FE&S: How have your menus evolved? JMG: Our menus evolved over the years to be more streamlined. When we started years ago we were offering many options. We've swung toward offering more healthy menu items. We removed our fryers years ago. We've always been chef-focused and have gotten better at it over the years. FE&S: What's changing in your ongoing kitchen renovation? JMG: Our kitchen was 40 years old and was built to serve 200 patient meals. Now, we're serving 500. We're reconfiguring the tray line to go from a single to a double. There's a lot of infrastructure, such as plumbing and floors, that must be fixed, as well. Facilities haven't evolved, which is why we have the renovation. We've swung toward offering more healthy menu items. We removed our fryers years ago. We've always been chef-focused and have gotten better at it over the years. James McGrody UNC Rex Healthcare Raleigh, N.C. www.rexhealth.com

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