BELGIUM (Reuters): Hospital food usually gets a bad rap, as it ranks alongside school lunches on the culinary charts. It is not preferred by anyone claiming to have at least some semblance of a palate. However, a hospital in western Belgium has broken the stereotype after winning approval from a prestigious French restaurant guide.
AZ Groeninge in the city of Kortrijk becomes the first hospital in the Benelux to be officially recognized by Gault & Millau for the quality of the food it serves its patients.
Marc Declerck, chief executive of Gault & Millau Benelux, said the guide producer has collaborated for over 10 years with companies and retirement homes on the meals served to employees and residents.
The hospital brought in Gault & Millau experts to inspect their food and offer advice for improvement, notably for their fish dishes, sauces and potato servings.
The guide subsequently determined that the hospital’s food was of a high standard, and Declerck said he would be happy to serve up some of its dishes in his own home.
The general advice, he said, is to work with good ingredients and stick to simple recipes.
“People don’t want necessarily too complicated things. Make it healthy; make it tasty … Try to cook for them as you would cook for yourself,” he told Reuters.
The meals prepared for patients will not feature in the annual restaurant guide but have been officially certified by Gault & Millau for 2023.