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Norwalk Chef Dishes on Hospital Food

When you think of hospital food, gourmet is not the word that comes to mind. So when we were visiting the "gastro"-enterology suite at Norwalk Hospital the other day for a test – yes, that test – and volunteer greeter Mark Rosenberg proudly stated that Norwalk has the "best hospital food in the world" as well as a "professional chef" our curiosity was whetted. We asked to meet him.

"It's not like watching 'House,'" executive chef Jeffrey Schack says of the current state of hospital food. "It's much more gourmet than that."

And with Schack's 62-member kitchen staff preparing dishes such as mussels marinara for the hospital's "captive audience," gourmet sounds about right. Schack, a former music teacher who learned the art of cooking in his father's New York restaurant, says the idea is to keep the flavors interesting. He says he will often urge his associates "to make their heritage" – something they learned growing up. The one caveat is that every dish must conform to the diet specified by hospital nutritionists.

"Mitzvah," Schack says, "good deed. It's a Yiddish word my grandmother taught me. We do a good deed here every day."

Mazel tov!

Have you been a patient or visitor at Norwalk Hospital recently and sampled the food? What did you think? Share your review below.