“Hospital Food” Gets a Whole New Flavor with Chef Paul Garey of Memorial Sloan Kettering

October 19th, 2015


Chef Garey Memorial Sloan Meatless Monday 018Recently we caught up with Executive Chef Paul Garey of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in New York City. MSK is one of the most prominent cancer care centers in the world, leading pioneering efforts in early detection and treatment. MSK has also been participating in Meatless Monday for the past two years, consistently offering a meatless option at every meal.

The cafeteria space is warm and inviting – filled with sunlight, delicious smells, and patients, friends, and staff enjoying their meals. The dining area is hung with posters and menus with Meatless Monday specials and every food service station has its own Meatless Monday dishes. Chef Garey and his team work with MSK wellness nutritionists to ensure that food, and Meatless Monday, are a healthy and restorative part of care in their facilities.

MM Menu Memorial Sloan Meatless Monday 012The team plans a menu designed to support health and energy – for patients, their families, and for the staff. By assuring that the foods in the meal plan for each day are nutritious and enjoyable, the team at MSK is turning the idea of “hospital food” on its head and creating delicious restaurant-quality foods for patrons. Dishes like artichoke lasagna, tofu stir-fry, and squash ravioli make eating meatless a flavorful and nutritious part of the services at MSK. Chef Garey reports that most of the popular Meatless Monday entrees have revolved around plant-focused recipes, rather than meat substitute products. “Much of what we do for Meatless Monday does revolve around using plant-based proteins,” he remarked, “That’s the cornerstone of how we develop our entrees.”

The kitchen caters 36 to 60 special events in their in-house event space daily, serves 4,000 diners in the cafeteria each day, and prepares a similar menu for the 1,500 meals via room service to patients receiving care in their rooms every day. The meals are carefully planned and include options for more than 20 different specific doctor-recommended diets. Since no two patients are alike, specialized care is a crucial part of treatment at MSK.

Coming from a background in fine restaurants, Chef Garey brings a love of food and a passion of elevating cuisine to his work at MSK. “Our goal here is to elevate the quality of our food and our service – to move from very good to very excellent,” Chef Garey told Meatless Monday. “It would be wonderful to see more hospitals following the example we set in assuring high quality service and striving for even better. Ultimately I’d like to see the stereotype of bad hospital food disappear.”

Chef Garey and his team have expanded the Meatless Monday offerings at MSK; now patrons can visit any station in the cafeteria and find delicious meatless dishes.

Chef Garey MM signage Memorial Sloan Meatless Monday 013