It is just before the lunch time rush in one of the busiest kitchens in the State of Vermont.
"We prepare these fresh daily. We do cheese plates for appetizers. We do crudités. We serve fresh fruits as much as possible," said Executive Chef Richard Jarmusz.
Welcome to the kitchen at Fletcher Allen Health Care which takes orders from patients from 6 o'clock in the morning to 7:15 at night. The kitchen also supplies food to the three public cafeterias, and Chef Jarmusz is in charge of it all.
"There is a lot of things I enjoy about this job and that is creativity -- for any chef is high on the list and I enjoy that very much being creative with the patient meals. Trying to create food that meets their diets, that they can eat and is healthy for them," he said.
The patients call down to order their meals. Those orders are sent to the kitchen, dietary requirements considered, then individually cooked and prepared and delivered to the patient's room within 45 minutes. From breakfast to dinner this kitchen provides 5-thousand meals a day, making it one of Vermont's largest restaurants.
And the emphasis at Fletcher Allen, like many Vermont restaurants, is on fresh, local foods. "ninety-five percent of our beef comes from the state of Vermont. We use pork from Vermont. We use chicken when it is available -- fresh veggies -- working with a company that harvests it's corn then freezes it and we buy it in bulk from them; broccoli and green beans as well," Jarmusz said.
In fact, each year Fletcher Allen spends about 1.5 million dollars on Vermont produce. "I purchase all the food for the kitchen whether it be produce, meat -- try to purchase as much local as we can -- all local as we can," said Scott Young, a Production Specialist at FAHC.
Not only does buying local help Vermont's economy and farmers, there are health reasons too. "You have all these recalls nationwide and we get a recall notice and we say well, we are serving a safe healthier product to our patients and that is what we are purchasing," Young said.
Young says they know exactly where the food comes from and have personally visited many of the farms. Roughly half of the food served in the hospital and its cafeterias are sustain ably produced. New recipes are constantly being tested depending on what is in season, and there are specials every day.
Hospital officials say their goal is simply to have the most sustainable health care food service in the country.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:32 AM EDT2013-05-21 04:32:23 GMT
It is a case that terrified the Northeast Kingdom, 78-year-old Pat O'Hagan, murdered more than two years ago. But now - sources tell Channel 3 there are 3 suspects and they are already in jail. O'HaganMore >>
It is a case that terrified the Northeast Kingdom, 78-year-old Pat O'Hagan, murdered more than two years ago. But now - sources tell Channel 3 there are 3 suspects and they are already in jail.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:31 AM EDT2013-05-21 04:31:47 GMT
When Burlington High School Spanish teacher Giovanna Yaranga was charged with having sex with one of her students many Burlington High School parents thought the worst, "As a mom it scared me, I send myMore >>
When Burlington High School Spanish teacher Giovanna Yaranga was charged with having sex with one of her students many Burlington High School parents thought the worst.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 10:13 PM EDT2013-05-21 02:13:38 GMT
A guilty plea Monday to one of the men linked to the death of a young man at the St. Albans pool.Chris Davis, 22, was found in the pool in April of last year, about a month after he had been reported missingMore >>
A guilty plea Monday to one of the men linked to the death of a young man at the St. Albans pool.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 8:33 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:33:46 GMT
A Forbes 500 company is coming to Rutland to start a pilot program for community solar leases.Green Mountain Power announced Monday a partnership with NRG Energy -- the largest solar developer in the U.S.More >>
A Forbes 500 company is coming to Rutland to start a pilot program for community solar leases.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 8:31 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:31:56 GMT
The state's new health care exchange opens for business in October, but efforts are underway now to explain how the system will work.Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont Monday opened an information centerMore >>
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont Monday opened an information center in South Burlington to provide information to the nearly 100,000 Vermonters who will be effected by the new federal mandate.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 8:15 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:15:25 GMT
At this Burlington workshop, wood is transformed into functional art. And it's not only the furniture that's unique, but also the person making it.Erin Hanley is going against the grain. She's a womanMore >>
At this Burlington workshop, wood is transformed into functional art. And it's not only the furniture that's unique, but also the person making it.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 8:07 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:07:25 GMT
At the Cedar Circle Farm in East Thetford, hundreds of different fruits, vegetables and plants are for sale."We grow about a 150 different kinds of vegetables -- 50 different kind of tomatoes alone," saidMore >>
Hemp is sold legally in stores throughout the country, but it's illegal to grow it. Vermont is changing that, but there may be some hurdles along the way.More >>