The idea of fresh brick oven pizza available within a hospital may seem like a dream, but it’s becoming reality at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH). The recent opening of their pizza kitchen is one of the many ways Northwell’s culinary teams are advancing how the organization views food and nutrition as a critical factor for our team members, patients and their families.
Adding a Marra Forni Brick Oven to the NSUH kitchen was met with excitement by the Food & Nutrition team. Training was provided to ensure that not only could they master the pizza oven safely, but that they would have the skills needed to take pizza creation to the next level.
As part of their preparation, members of the culinary team took a trip into New York City to meet a master pizzaiolo, who took them through the process of making pizza in a brick oven. Learning firsthand from an expert allowed them to gain new skills that they could then share within the rest of the NSUH chefs.
Though developing the pizza kitchen took hard work, since it was introduced they’ve already seen appreciation for such a unique and delicious food choice available in the hospital.
“We received nothing but amazing feedback,” says Janisa Freycinet, executive chef at NSUH. “We are now serving about 250 pizzas a day and create different specialty pizzas that our chefs come up with twice a week.”
Some of these creations from the NSUH chefs:
- Penne a la vodka pizza
- Hawaiian pizza
- Buffalo chicken pizza
- White pizza
- Cauliflower crust pizza
As chefs within the healthcare industry, our teams also know the importance of quality when it comes to ingredients. By using only top-quality products, they’re able to ensure it not only tastes great, but that the pizza is as healthy as it is delicious. Using authentic ingredients like Caputo 00 Flour, Janisa developed the right dough and sauce recipe before training the other chefs inside the kitchen. Today they have around 10 different healthy toppings for patients to choose from, and a house-made pistachio pesto sauce has emerged as the top choice.
Kevin Dinh, an alumnus of the Culinary Institute of America, is the chef de partie of the pizza kitchen and helps ensure everything runs smoothly and correctly. Kevin uses his past experience working within pizzerias to prepare the fresh dough and works with the tournant chefs who prepare the sauces and vegetables. Together they’re helping to lead the way in healthcare culinary arts
“This is just the beginning of our innovative creations,” says Janisa. “Eventually we would like to do house breads, nann pitas, breakfast pizzas and in the future, have the pizza available in room for our patients.”
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