UNC REX Culinary Director Jim McGrody Wins Prestigious Silver Plate Award
McGrody’s career has transformed the cuisine at UNC REX and the concept of hospital food
RALEIGH, N.C. – March 20, 2018 – Jim McGrody, the director of Culinary Services at UNC REX Healthcare, has won one of the food service industry’s most prestigious awards to recognize his passion for revolutionizing hospital food.
The International Food service Manufacturers Association (IFMA) has named McGrody its 2018 Silver Plate Award winner in the healthcare food service segment. Silver Plate winners are nominated by IFMA members and industry leaders, and then selected by a distinguished jury including national trade press, food service experts and past Gold & Silver Plate award winners. From this year’s nine Silver Plate winners, one will be chosen by the jury to receive the IFMA’s coveted 2018 Gold Plate Award, revealed at a celebration in Chicago on May 19.
“At UNC REX, we strive every day to provide our patients, their families and our co-workers with healthy, delicious food, and we’ve succeeded in transforming the concept of hospital food,” McGrody said. “I’m proud to receive this honor, and I’m grateful to my dedicated and talented team and the incredibly supportive leadership at UNC REX.”
McGrody joined UNC REX 10 years ago, and has spent more than 30 years in the food services industry. He’s a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.
At the University of North Carolina Medical Center and at UNC REX he created and refined the Black Hat Chefs, a widely respected culinary training program for healthcare cooks. McGrody and his team at UNC REX have inspired many hospitals around the country to change the way they cook for their patients. He has worked as a consultant to the Department of Veterans Affairs and as a success coach to Mater Health in Brisbane, Australia.
In 2012, UNC REX was the first hospital in North Carolina to remove deep fryers and get rid of French fries and other fried food. McGrody’s team focuses on offering fresh food prepared by chefs trained in fine dining.
“Jim brought to UNC REX a commitment to a chef-based model that offers healthy, and great-tasting food,” said Chad Lefteris, UNC REX’s vice president of operations. “The idea is that a great meal or even a fresh cup of coffee can help with healing, and improve the experience of patients and their families. We’re so proud of Jim and his winning the Silver Plate award.”
The most recent addition at UNC REX is Kardia, the café in the N.C. Heart & Vascular Hospital. Kardia (Greek for “heart”) serves heart-healthy fare with a Mediterranean flair. It’s all fresh and flavorful food that is tied to the hospital’s larger mission of improving the overall health of the community. There are salads, wraps and grain bowls with toppings such as salmon, lamb, roasted vegetables, hummus, baked falafel and more. The avocado toast comes with a wide range of healthy toppings. A burger features a mix of lamb and lean beef, seasonal pickled vegetables, sweet potato ketchup, roasted red pepper, eggplant spread and romaine.
UNC REX chefs and dietitians are passionate about showing patients and their families how healthy food can taste great, and offer healthy cooking classes in a new demonstration kitchen in the N.C. Heart & Vascular Hospital. See a schedule of upcoming classes online here.