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South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Chef Takes On Challenge Of Providing 'Well' Fare At Hospital
By Sam Tranum
July 18, 2003
Loxahatchee · When chef Fernando Rosado moved from Puerto Rico to New York and opened his restaurant, Mango, on Long Island, the local newspaper called it "refreshing."
He turned out veal and mango empanadas; sautéed lobster, shrimp and scallops in passion fruit and cilantro butter; and pork tenderloin sautéed with papaya and rum.
But Rosado gets bored easily. He moved to Florida and took a job cooking at the Colony Hotel on Palm Beach for a couple years, then worked at Admiral's Cove Hotel for about a year and a half.
Now he has taken on a new challenge: He's the executive chef at Palms West Hospital in Loxahatchee.
"I said, `You know, that would be a really interesting challenge,'" said Rosado, 43.
He said he was inspired to take the job after a brief stint in a hospital, being treated for diverticulitis. He had a terrible experience with the food, he said.
Rosado decided he could do better.
Now he leads a staff of about 30 at Palms West. Rosado said he works with nutritionists and doctors to make sure he is cooking the right things for patients. Most of it is pretty mild, he said, like apple-glazed roasted chicken, home-style meatloaf or baked salmon with lemon glaze.
"We just have the food look really nice, like in a restaurant," he said. "I don't want them to open the plate cover and just go `Ugh.' I want them to go `Oooh.'"
Rosado said he gets a chance to show off his Caribbean flair when he cooks for the doctors.
"I have a little bit more liberty," he said. "Maybe I can put some mango salsa with the fish."
And he uses all his skills when he's putting together a meal for the hospital trustees, he said.
"That's when I get to show a lot of my talent," he said.
Also, for about a month now, Rosado has been cooking a special Weight Watchers meal for hospital staffers trying to slim down, he said.
Eating in the hospital cafeteria on a recent morning, Theresa Rodriguez, a secretary at Palms West, said she liked the food Rosado prepared.
"It's good," she said. "It's nice and fresh. I like everything."