Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
We begin this week with a look at some foodie photos:
From top to bottom, that's a machaca flat-iron steak with cilantro tomalito and corn salsa, a vegetarian pizza right out of the oven, and a fresh salmon filet served with flat bread over a bed of spinach salad.
Now this is a no-no blog from a foodie standpoint, but take a look at those pictures again.
They look pretty darn appetizing, do they not?
Take another look.
Wood-fired oven pizza.
You’d eat any one of those entrees in a heartbeat.
I know I would.
But (OK, what’s the catch?) we’ll get back to those yummy photos in just a bit.
We turn back the clock to March 25, 2009, one of the most glorious days of my life.
About ten hours before my wife Jennifer gave birth to our beautiful, precious daughter, Kyla Audrey....
Yes, that would be her.....I am in line at the Honey Creek Café in the Women’s Pavilion at
The Women’s Pavilion is an amazing facility with wonderful care and outstanding health care professionals. The Café is bright and airy. Their food?
As I ponder my lunch decision, I realize from the posted menu and the deli-like case that my choices are severely limited. I believe there were two options for grilled sandwiches that quickly disappeared before I could get to the head of the line.
Rejecting the possibility of a salad (Are you kidding?) I gazed at the one or two lonely cold choices still sitting under glass. I opted for the spicy chicken wrap that was stuffed inside an orange tortilla.
Remember, I’m not in an east side deli. I’m in
I should have taken my cue from the overweight nurses smoking across the street from the hospital entrance. If they won’t eat here, something must be very wrong.
Hospital food, designed to be healthy can’t possibly be any good. After all, this cuisine, if you can call it that, is calorie-conscious. Hell, it’s calorie-challenged.
There’s also a cost factor. With hospitals losing money left and right on their food service, you’re certainly not expecting Strauss veal or
So what do you get?
Edible, yes. Flavorful? A big fat no.
It’s difficult, if damn near impossible to argue with Eric Eisenberg, who was a chef in French restaurants and a country club before becoming executive chef at
As a result, a hospital chef gets only half as much respect as Rodney Dangerfield.
Daniel Skay is the executive chef at
Skay might be able to hold his head a bit higher these days. There appears to be a trend developing, ever so slowly where the conventional image of hospital food as some slop out of a Charles Dickens novel is disappearing.
The Wall Street Journal sums it up nicely:
“Hospital food, which has traditionally ranked somewhere between prison chow and high-school cafeteria fare on the institutional dining scale, has undergone a transformation recently. Jell-O molds and soggy sandwiches are out; crusted trout and fresh-baked scones are in. Hospitals are installing pizza ovens, sushi stations and salad bars featuring organic produce. And they're hiring chefs from big-name hotels and restaurants.”
Nowhere is this pattern more evident than in
Front-and-center bistros serving haute hospital cuisine
Chef-prepared gourmet fare
Unthinkable: it won restaurant-review praise
Two grills for barbecue outside
Upscale coffee bars
Catering outside the hospital
Beer and wine licenses
Am I down the hall from the emergency room or in Vegas?
Think about it.
Imagine Carol Deptolla of the MJS giving **** to Froedtert’s Coffee Shop.
Hospital restaurants renowned for their Friday night fish fries and Sunday brunches.
This has to be pure fiction.
Remember the pictures we opened with?
All of those food offerings are served in
That first picture, the machaca flat-iron steak with cilantro tomalito and corn salsa.....
That's the creation of the aforementioned Daniel Skay, executive chef at
“While a jubilant Mr. Skay stepped away to text his wife the good news, his disappointed competitors sharpened their knives. Muni Nadan, executive chef at
Chef Skay, where the hell were you on March 25, 2009 when I was ordering Chicken Wrap Surprise Lite?
And what about hospital fare in these parts?
Hospital cuisine that’s upscale? Hell, I’d settle for a modicum of taste!
Hospital food to die for (OOOOOPS, sorry), I mean to actually be able to not only stomach but to use positive adjectives to describe and to recommend to other throw caution to the wind diners?
I’ll believe it when it see it.
CULINARY NO-NO EXTRA
Here's an update to last week's entry about lewd and lascivious behavior by baristas at coffee huts in Everett, Washington.
The powers that be in Everett (who would make Barney Fife look like a 5-star general) think they have fixed the problem.
Former baristas blame their former boss.
Meanwhile, 5 baristas go on trial in December for prostitution.
ANOTHER CULINARY NO-NO EXTRA
I love bacon. I crave bacon, I adore bacon.
But as we learned at the Wisconsin State Fair this year, we can take bacon too far.
Please watch this 1989 piece by Gayle Gardner about the late Packer great, Max McGee.
Max McGee died in 2007 after falling off a roof.
Now one of his restaurants has become a Minnesota Viking hangout.
A Culinary no-no? Sounds more like a case of great respect.
If I know Max, he's laughing.