Kingsbridge Private Hospital launches new ‘Kingsbridge Kitchen’ Cookery Book for Patients
‘Recipes to make you feel nurtured, nourished and cared for, from our kitchen to yours’
A hospital isn’t the first place you’d think of getting award-winning local cuisine but at Kingsbridge in Belfast, that’s just how they do things. As well as the excellent medical care from their doctors, nursing staff and carers; their catering department also plays an instrumental role in helping patients make a speedy recovery and have now created a cookery book based on the hospital menu called ‘Kingsbridge Kitchen’.
Head Chef, Jim Farren whose background is in the restaurant industry, was keen to pass on some of the recipes so patients could make the dish themselves at home and enjoy. He said:
“The inspiration for the book came after countless requests from patients asking our catering staff to write down the ingredients and method for certain dishes. We selected the recipes that were simple to make and the most popular. Healthy food doesn’t have to be bland or boring and if it is, it isn’t doing its job.
“People forget what an impact food can have especially when you are ill or recuperating after a procedure. I firmly believe good hospital food is vital to our health and helps patients convalesce sooner. All our ingredients are sourced locally, are fresh and nothing is processed so having food which is full of vitamins and nutrition can only be good for you. Our catering manager, Kathleen McAleavey is adamant about this.
“Of course, sometimes we have patients with a restricted diet, so we try to use Halal ingredients and ensure there is a variety of vegetarian options always available. It’s very rewarding to see an elderly patient’s face light up when you bring them a cup of tea and maybe something simple like a freshly made sandwich and soup, if their appetite isn’t great after surgery; or a child who looks pleased to get ice cream or their favourite milkshake. Working in the industry I learned a long time ago that great food and good service can make all the difference to any experience,” said Jim.
Each inpatient gets a copy of the new glossy hardback book as a gift from Kingsbridge when they are discharged. Inside there are dozens of mouth-watering meal ideas along with some nutritional benefits, hints, and tips to make everything from celeriac and thyme soup; pan-fried hake, courgette, parsley and lemon potatoes with salsa verde and slow cooked beef brisket with buttered carrots, mustard mash and red wine jus. For those with a sweeter tooth you can also attempt to make lemon posset, macerated strawberries with shortbread; raspberry and almond friands and banana and date pudding with toffee sauce, caramelised banana and vanilla ice-cream.
Mark Regan, CEO at Kingsbridge Private Hospital is very proud of the catering team who work tirelessly to provide top quality food and a seasonal menu as well as getting involved creating the book and helping direct the photography. He said:
“From the very outset Kingsbridge wanted food to play a central role in both the patient experience and their physical recovery. Patients should feel they are important and individuals, and that their tastes and opinions are being given proper attention. That’s why we try to offer a personal touch to food service. Often our patients say they feel like they are staying in a hotel rather than a hospital.
“We constantly strive as a hospital group to make a real difference to our patient’s overall experience and that is why we will always offer them an abundance of choice and alternatives. The feedback on our patient questionnaires is always very positive, especially about our food. We don’t have a set time for lunch or dinner as patients often are more relaxed when they know there is a delicious hot meal coming whenever they’re ready. We take great pride in aspiring to deliver a harmonious blend of healthcare and hospitality,” said Mark.
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