Improved menu just what doctor ordered

Executive chef Javier Ferrandez, dietitian Janine von Retzlaff and catering manager Chris Jowett with some of the new meals. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d410780
Executive chef Javier Ferrandez, dietitian Janine von Retzlaff and catering manager Chris Jowett with some of the new meals. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d410780

One year after launching the ‘Reinventing the Meal’ program, Hollywood Private Hospital went from ranking in the bottom 30th percentile to the number one spot for inpatient meal satisfaction in Press Ganey national surveys.

After 18 months of hard work, aided by celebrity chef Ian Parmeter, catering manager Chris Jowett said he was proud to say the food was now a major highlight of every patient’s stay.

‘Because we started on a very low base, everything had to be changed,’ Mr Jowett said.

‘Just reinventing a sandwich was three or so month’s work ” executive chef Javier Ferrandez trialled the recipes, then dietician Janine von Retzlaff analysed each ingredient and facilitated the all-important taste test.’

Mr Jowett said a warning sign that catering needed an overhaul was seeing about 30 to 40 per cent of food go in the bin every day. ‘We’ve noticed that just by reducing portion size and improving quality, we now have less than 10 per cent wastage,’ he said.

Mr Ferrandez said the empty plates were his ultimate tick of approval.

‘We cook fresh every day with the best local and seasonal produce, ‘ he said.

‘It makes our job easier in many ways, because we know we’re providing good food and the feedback we get is genuine.’

Mrs von Retzlaff said catering used to be a hidden department at Hollywood Private Hospital.

‘Patients used to fill out paper menus by themselves, whereas now our staff go around to each room and talk them through their meals with pictures on a laptop,’ she said.

‘When you’re in hospital your nutrient needs increase by up to 150 per cent.

‘Not eating well would delay your recovery and make you stay longer, which is why that added interaction is so valuable.’