‘Tis the season to celebrate. And Morrison chefs have been doing just that, delivering a great hospitality experience with a variety of holiday meals and treats for patients, hospital staff, the communities we serve. Here are just a few of the interesting celebrations taking place this season:
Chadwick French, Director of Retail at the University of Virginia Medical Center
Chadwick began offering a Holiday Sweet Box Bar in the café on December 6 that will run through the New Year. The bar consists of sweets and treats, including holiday candy corn, wrapped chocolates, Hershey kisses, peppermint yogurt pretzels, chocolate tree pretzels, red and green yogurt pretzels, candy cane crunch popcorn, and holiday gummy bears.
Located near the salad bar in the main café, approximately 50 people each day build their own sweet box. “I expect the number to rise as we get closer to Christmas,” he says. “The most popular items are the gummy bears, candy cane crunch popcorn, and yogurt pretzels.”
Chadwick says the bar is his way to spread joy with others during the holidays. “I go ‘all out’ with decorating at home, so it only makes sense to do the same thing when merchandising here at UVA. My love for the holidays stems from my grandmother, who loved this time of year the most because it was her opportunity to give and spread joy to our family and friends and to everyone she encountered.”
Not surprisingly, the sweet bar has been a hit with the hospital staff. “Some of the nurses stopped me as I was merchandising some of the Holiday Sweet Shop items to say how much they appreciated what I was doing in creating a memorable experience for them and others.”
Genevieve Potvin and Kendra Crabtree, Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.
The Morrison team, led by Genevieve Potvin, Senior Director of Nutrition Services, and Kendra Crabtree, Regional Director of Operations, put together a wide variety of holidays events and meals. Food was front and center during the Thanksgiving holidays. The Children’s National team offered a traditional Thanksgiving meal in the retail café and for patients with roasted turkey breast, turkey gravy, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and pumpkin pie.
Morrison and Children’s food service associates were also treated to pumpkin, apple, and pecan pie. Sliced pieces of pie were also delivered to many hospital administrators and managers while the physician’s lounges received both pie and Lindt chocolates. And Morrison Executive Chef Margaret Miller brought in specialty cupcakes for patients who can’t leave their room and participate in-hospital events.
This month, Raymond Stevens, a Morrison Human Resources Generalist, introduced a clothing drive to collect donations for a local women’s and children’s shelter. In addition, the dietitians sponsored a Children’s National patient family of three to spread some holiday cheer by way of their wish list of desired gifts.
Community giving is also important. Morrison provided 25 packaged Thanksgiving meals for the families of patients staying at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Washington, D.C., and delivered donated meals to an offsite Children’s National Emergency Department. The latter action provided the hospital’s leadership team the opportunity to send a thank you message to staff there, which often can’t participate in events on the main campus.
Gil McKnight, Regional Executive Chef, Novant Matthews, Matthews, N.C.
At the hospital’s annual auction of Christmas trees, Regional Executive Chef Gil McKnight set up a special “VIP” area for hospital staff to his special concoction of holidays treats and drinks.
“This is an annual event, but it’s the first time we had a VIP area for the staff,” said the chef. “We wanted to create something fun and different, and provide some special treatment for the hospital staff.” And it worked – roughly 400 people came to the VIP area during the event.
McKnight and the Morrison team made approximately 3,500 individual food and drink items and 15 gallons of the chef’s secret recipe hot chocolate – and sold out completely.
The chef made custom treats for each hospital staff member. “Our client couldn’t believe how happy and special the staff felt with their own VIP section,” McKnight says. The most popular item was “loaded “Rice Krispies treats with a coffee cream cheese icing, topped with chocolate chips and marshmallows, as well as mocha cream cheese icing topped with Oreos crumbles. Other items included a mint chocolate chip cookie cupcake topped with vanilla icing with Oreos.
In mid-December, Morrison also hosted a free holiday meal in the café for all hospital staff, with administrators serving the food. The meal includes Roasted pork loin, herb-crusted brisket, egg nog sweet potatoes, heirloom baby carrot romesco, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole, bacon Brussel sprout mélange, and assorted pies and rolls.