Fine taste of hospital food on lunch menu

00:44, Jul 26 2012

The phrase "hospital food" might conjure up unappealing images for some but a lunch at Southland Hospital yesterday was a chance to showcase its cuisine.

Southern District Health Board operations manager, hospitality, Justin Bellass said the Sarah's Table lunch event - attended by about 10 people including food writer Patricia Soper, Southern Institute of Technology hospitality and cookery programme manager Glenn Stridion and Invercargill Licensing Trust general manager Greg Mulvey - was a chance for the district health board to show its food to the public.

The menu included a chicken, apricot and walnut pie, roast hoki with lemongrass sauce, and jam and pear pudding with a chocolate sauce.

He disagreed with the perception hospital food was not tasty.

"Here we try and produce food that you would want to eat at home . . . it's made by chefs, there's a lot of creative flair, there's lots of flavours, and you do eat with your eyes, so it arrives looking appealing [and] appetising, tasting nutritious, and hot."

His predecessor, Sarah Campbell, came up with the idea to hold a chef's lunch at Dunedin Hospital a few years ago but after she died last year the DHB decided to carry the tradition on, renaming the event Sarah's Table in her honour, Mr Bellass said.

Experienced kitchen staff worked with about 150 diet codes, catering to a range of needs from diabetic to gluten-free meals.

As for his picks from yesterday's menu - the pie was lovely, and the vegetable satay and fricassee of chicken were always amazing, he said.

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