Why this Michelin-star chef left the restaurant industry to cook in hospitals

Patrick Wodni, once a chef at a popular Michelin-starred restaurant in Berlin, now prepares gourmet hospital meals using local, organic food on a budget, according to The New York Times.

Mr. Wodni left the restaurant industry because he grew weary of serving 10-course meals, sought better hours and "wanted to be doing something useful," he told NYT.

After accepting a chef position at a local hospital in Berlin, Mr. Wodni used his food industry connections to access locally and sustainably grown organic ingredients for patient meals. Within seven months, Mr. Wodni secured nine producers and six food wholesalers, compared to the hospital's original three wholesalers. He uses these high-quality ingredients to create hospital meals with a budget of just $5.50 per patient per day.

"When I started, I took the budget, and said, 'What's doable with what we have?'" Mr. Wodni told NYT. "When you make 500 meals a day, you can scale."

Mr. Wodni also meets with physicians at the hospital to discuss food menus and makes as many things from scratch as possible. He said he hopes the initiative will help transform how large institutions like schools and hospitals source and prepare food to increase demand for more regional, organic farming.

"It's a choice, to create change from within," he told NYT.

More articles on patient engagement:

Johns Hopkins researchers develop tool to predict patient no-shows

Where do patients share physician reviews online? 5 survey insights

Viewpoint: How to turn '10 minutes into 20' with a patient

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