On Monday, Catholic Medical Center welcomed Chef Chris Walsh to the family! Chris will bring a fresh approach to food service here at CMC as our new Executive Chef, adding his creative twist to the menu at the West Side Grille. He has extensive experience in a broad range of settings from hospitals and hotels to educational settings and banquet halls. You may have already enjoyed his culinary delights at Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham, NH. Here, we find out a little more about what Chef Chris is like in the kitchen.
Q: What are some of your favorite flavors?
A: Cooking healthy is really important to me. I try to do my best to do that with fresh ingredients. I really like ginger, fresh herbs, garlic. Citrus is one of my favorite things to use. I love flavored oils and spice rubs and combinations. I really like Southwest and Mediterranean cuisine a lot. I enjoy anything but I like it to be fresh and simple whenever possible. I believe you can have a simple elegance about it, the way you cook with it, respect it.
Q: Cooking for a large crowd can be challenging. How do you balance taste and quality with volume?
A: I’ve worked in very large convention centers and done plated meals for up to 5,300 people. It’s all a mathematical equation to me. A recipe for four can be applied to 4,000, you just need the equipment to do it. If you have a good recipe, it works for any number of people.
Q: What are you looking forward to being at CMC?
A: One of the key reasons I’m here is that I have been a patient here. My wife has been a patient here. My father passed away here in February. One thing that became apparent to me is the quality of the staff here. When my father passed away, he and my family were really treated with respect and that opened my eyes to the quality of the people here, so I’m really looking forward to working with the people. They do a great job here, even without a chef, putting out fresh food even though it’s done really quickly.
Q: What can guests here look forward to?
A: I will be very approachable, very active all over the kitchen and in the dining room. Patients, employees, and families will see me. I look forward to talking with people, taking their suggestions. We do a lot of things really well but I’ll be looking to turn things up a bit, make it more fun, exciting. I’ll be a spokesperson for the food and want to give people more of a culinary experience.
Chris will spend the next several weeks learning how the kitchen works and what everyone’s role is because, has he puts it, even a chef needs to be trained. We can’t wait to taste what he’ll whip up. Welcome!