A Fresh Take on Hospital Food

Virtual Cafe at Lone Peak Hospital Open to All

Hospital food doesn’t have the best reputation—canned vegetables, bland starches, and dry meat lumped together. Luckily, hospital menus are changing for the better at Draper’s Lone Peak Hospital. And the formula is simple. Apply the golden rule to food—cook for others as you would want someone to cook for you.

“My work aligns with my vision of how I would want to be taken care of,” says Lone Peak Hospital’s food service director Kristian Williamson, who has overseen the kitchen since the hospital opened in 2013. Fresh, made-from-scratch food helps heal the body and brings happiness to patients, staff and visitors. That happiness, he says, is what he works to provide, along with help from his dedicated kitchen staff.

And who wouldn’t be happy with a reasonably priced menu featuring healthy sandwiches, fresh salads and such specials as Cantonese chicken wraps, a green salad topped with roasted veggies, the “super popular” ham and Swiss cheese crepes or, for dessert, mango-pineapple crepes? For vegans/vegetarians there is wild rice pilaf and a spaghetti squash with pesto. “We try to make everything we can from scratch,” he says. Local products are used as often as possible.

Special touches abound, too. New mothers enjoy a multi-course “Celebration Meal for Two” served on fine china. Moms can savor steak, salmon or chicken and for the vegetarian/vegan mom, pesto pasta or the homemade quinoa burger.

“New mothers love the food,” says Debra Weight, director of the labor and delivery department. “Time and time again I hear from them that the meals are above and beyond what they expect from hospital food. It’s restaurant quality.”

Service is atypical of most hospitals, both in-room and at the open-to-the-public cafe. For patients, a hostess takes the order in the patient’s room. For visitors and staff there is the Cirque Virtual Cafe downstairs where orders are taken on a kiosk or via a smartphone app.

Williamson started cooking early in life, first for his family and then in the corporate restaurant world. He studied culinary arts at The Art Institute of Salt Lake City and feels fortunate to work at a hospital that takes pride in their offerings.

The chef hopes the reputation of hospital food everywhere changes for the better. “The smaller hospital seems to be the new model instead of the mega hospitals,” he says, “People see what we are doing, they taste it and they invest in it. Fresh, nutritious food is good for the patients and that is good for hospitals.”

Lone Peak Hospital’s Cirque Virtual Cafe is open to the public daily 8 a.m.-6 p.m.Hospital food doesn’t have the best reputation—canned vegetables, bland starches, and dry meat lumped together. Luckily, hospital menus are changing for the better at Draper’s Lone Peak Hospital. And the formula is simple. Apply the golden rule to food—cook for others as you would want someone to cook for you.