Rochester Regional Health made a groundbreaking announcement today: The Kitchen Counter by Wolfgang Puck will be opening in the Sands-Constellation Center for Critical Care. This is New York state’s premiere Wolfgang Puck Kitchen Counter location.
The ribbon cutting for the 312,000-square-foot critical care center at Rochester General Hospital is expected to be held on Sept. 25, and the 4,200-square-foot cafe will be open for business that day.
The Wolfgang Puck Kitchen Counter will be housed on the second floor of the seven-story building overlooking a courtyard with a healing garden. For the warmer months, there will be outdoor seating for patrons to enjoy a meal in the fresh air.
“We’re trying to raise the bar in terms of what food can look like in a hospital setting,” said RRH president and CEO Eric Bieber M.D. “Wolfgang Puck is a name synonymous with excellence in dining and culinary arts.”
At the outset, the Kitchen Counter will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There will be hot and cold food items for guests and employees to choose from, including signature Wolfgang Puck dishes like rotisserie chicken, beef ribeye, the Wolfgang Puck burger and Asian chicken salad.
“The menu will evolve; but those are their well-known staples,” says RRH chief administrative officer Hugh Thomas. “If there are unique things that we think will do well here, then the Wolfgang Puck team will assist us with that with their expertise.”
Also available for employees or family members on-the-go are quick options like snack boxes, wraps and salads. The RRH team is still working with Wolfgang Puck to finalize menu pricing, but Thomas assures that they are working to establish food costs that reflect the local market.
The Wolfgang Puck franchise has locations in 12 cities and six countries in a variety of settings, from airports to plazas to hotels, but this is only the second Wolfgang Puck restaurant to dig roots in a health care system. Most notably, RRH is the first health care system to host a Wolfgang Puck Kitchen Counter location.
Bieber says that this decision reflects RRH’s commitment to maintaining a sustainable health care system. The Center for Critical Care has been thoughtfully constructed to receive a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification, and the Kitchen Counter will use organic and locally sourced ingredients from purveyors in the Rochester region.
“We’re purposeful in trying to use less energy,” said Bieber. “This ties to the solar farm that we put together, and it ties with the commitment to not using carbon-sourced bases for energy. Now this added construct of food…is part of the continuum of what we’re trying to provide to people within the walls of our hospital.”
Bieber and Thomas agree that this partnership with Wolfgang Puck raises the bar for the health care system as a whole.
“It provides us the opportunity to bring a significant increase in quality and service to our patients, their families and our team members,” said Thomas.
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