Reporting Jason DeRusha
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The sizzle of fresh tilapia, crisp green beans, topped with gorgeous grilled vegetables.
Chef Jesse Sturm is working hard to offer healthy, delicious foods. In a place not exactly known for it.
“That is not what you expect at the hospital,” he said. “We’re trying to break some of the stereotypes of what’s going on in the hospital.”
Sturm’s the chef at Woodwinds Health Campus, the hospital in Woodbury.
Three years ago Woodwinds decided their food stunk — too much jello and bland, and not enough sizzle and freshness.
They worked on more than 40 recipes, modified some, and created others.
Now there’s Asian tilapia with lemon cilantro rice. A salad with grilled pears, chicken and a blueberry vinaigrette.
Hospitals around Minnesota are changing their food programs. At Woodwinds, the room service menu is available any time.
Patients and families have demanded better food and hospitals feel the pressure to set an example by serving healthier options. The feedback is so good, Woodwind’s parent, HealthEast, plans on rolling out the Eat Well, Be Well concept to its other hospitals.
“It’s a rep we have to keep fighting and say, ‘This is not like it was. We have to keep changing things,’” he said.