When one thinks of a hospital stay, inevitably there will be a hospital food joke that comes to mind. These days, however, hospitals employ more than just cooks. They hire chefs.
George Tatsuhara is the executive chef at Medical Center of McKinney. His training began at a Japanese restaurant, (in El Paso no less), and progressed through casual and fine dining, hotel service and culinary school. Today he manages dozens of people, responsible for hundreds of daily patient meals at the MCM and Wysong campuses, the hospital Café and catering for special events and meetings.
“Patients will tease me and say, ‘Can I get steak and lobster?’”
Satisfying patients from a culinary standpoint is not always an easy chore, and opportunities for creativity are more prevalent in catering and the Café.
“With patients the nutrition is very important,” Tatsuhara said. “Patients will tease me and say, ‘can I get steak and lobster?’ I would always reply, sure you can, as long as it’s OK with the dieticians and doctors.”
No one looks forward to a hospital visit, but at least at Medical Center of McKinney Tatsuhara is on the job making the stay a bit more palatable.
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