This year’s theme for National Nutrition Month is to “Celebrate a World of Flavors.” In hospitals across the country, Morrison Healthcare Chefs are cooking up delicious global cuisines, celebrating the cultures they were born from, and igniting inclusion as they celebrate a world of flavors. Follow us on a flavor-packed trip around the world with a few of our talented Chefs!
Chef Carlene Walker’s Armenian Lamb Stew
Chef Carlene has had a passion for being in the kitchen ever since she was a young girl. While she initially went to college for Psychology, Carlene quickly decided she wanted to pursue her natural gift…cooking. With very little professional kitchen experience, she moved 700 miles from home and enrolled at the Art Institute of Nashville in Tennessee. Carlene met Andy Hayes of Moto Cucina + Enoteca, and helped open the restaurant from the ground up, serving as his Chef de Cuisine. Carlene credits Chef Hayes for the guidance he provided that had everything to do with making her the successful Chef she is today.
She had a calling to change the course of her career after spending a lot of time with her father during his frequent hospital stays, that’s when she made the jump from fine restaurant to healthcare. To see the quality of the food that he was being given, she knew that she could make a difference with her culinary knowledge to change healthcare food for the better. So, she accepted a Sous Chef Position with Touchpoint (a Compass Group USA sector) in 2015, and six years later she became a Regional Executive Chef for Morrison Healthcare.
We’re sharing this Lamb Stew Recipe in honor of Carlene’s Armenian culture. Lamb is among the most common livestock consumed throughout the world, linked to feasts and religious observances. Christians, Jews and Muslims celebrate with lamb, an essential part of the cuisine on Easter, Passover, Christmas, and Ramadan. Lamb is symbolic of spring, sacrifice, fertility, and it unites people around a table of delicious food to share.
Lamb Stew Recipe:
Yield: 6 Servings
Cook Time: 2 hour cook time, 35 minutes prep time
Chef Omar Flores’ Puerto Rican Cod Papillot
Cuisine: Puerto Rican
Chef Omar is a native of Puerto Rico with more than 20 years of culinary experience. He is recognized for his knowledge of international cuisine and his innovative approach to customized dining experiences. Omar’s skills and techniques were developed by working with world-renowned chefs in Puerto Rico and Miami, where he developed an understanding of different cultures, produce, flavors, and more.
Omar currently serves as Executive Sous Chef for Morrison Healthcare at the University of Miami Hospital, where he focuses on creating exciting and innovative food offerings. Take a bite out of Omar’s Puerto Rican culture and cook up his cod pappilot at home!
Cod Papillot Recipe:
Yield: 2 Servings
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chef Kham Ta-Aca’s Filipino Coconut Milk Braised Greens
Born in the Philippines, Senior Executive Chef Kham, has always been fascinated by the flavors, techniques, and aesthetics of food. He applies his culinary knowledge and positive energy to his work at the LAC+USC Medical Center. As an LGBTQIA advocate, Chef Kham is proud to be part of a company and community that celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion. We’re proud to have Chef Kham on our team and encourage you to try his Coconut Milk Braised Greens.
Coconut Milk Braised Greens Recipe:
Yield: 2 Servings
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chef Awo Amenumey’s Ghanaian Fonio “Jollof” Rice
Growing up in Ghana, West Africa, food has always been an integral part of Chef Awo’s upbringing. She never considered cooking as a career until after her first son Kenji was born. Until then, cooking and hosting was and had always been a hobby. After moving to Paducah, KY with her family in 2015, her husband, encouraged her to start culinary school, and that’s when a whole new world opened to her! Awo’s love for cooking soared even higher; the pure joy and excitement on people’s faces when they tasted her food was all the affirmation, she needed to know this was what she was meant to be doing. Awo currently works as a Traveling Chef for Morrison Healthcare and serves as an inclusion ambassador for the Compass One Diversity and Inclusion Action Council.
Awo shared, “Fonio is a grain that is quickly gaining popularity for its superfood properties, high in protein, and being gluten-free, but, there are still a lot of people who have not heard of it, and its amazing benefits.” Fonio is a draught-resistant crop grown mostly in the northern part of Ghana and other West African countries like Sierra Leon, Burkina Faso, etc. This recipe Awo developed is a staple dish you’d see at almost every occasion you’d attend in Ghana.
Fonio “Jollof” Recipe:
Yield: 4-6 Servings
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chef’s notes: you can mix in and cooked peas or legumes of choice into the stew. For a meat-friendly option, dice up beef, chicken, or flakes of smoked tuna into the stew. You can also use coconut milk to cook fonio for a richer nutty flavor. Leftover stew will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week and freezer for up to a month. It can be served with steamed rice, pasta, potatoes, boiled plantains, etc.