New Mission Health Café Raises Culinary Bar

Asheville, N.C. (October 2, 2012) Mission Hospital has opened its newly renovated Café 509. Changes include a completely renovated cafeteria, an expanded salad bar, a live-action hot foods demonstration station and a completely revamped menu.  Many of the offerings showcase locally produced foods.

"We are excited about being able to offer healthy, delicious menu items," said Chef Chris Aquilino, system executive chef at Mission Health. "We enjoy making people realize that 'hospital food' isn't what they think it is. Our team is very proud to use fresh ingredients in creative ways."

Much of that food has a local connection. For example, all fruits and vegetables that need to be cut and frozen are done so in conjunction with Green Opportunities and GO Kitchen-Ready programs that provide training opportunities in the culinary arts for low income adults. All greens, tomatoes and other produce are sourced from producers within 100 miles of Café 509. A certified Appalachian Grown handler, Café 509 identifies locally grown foods on its menu.

"This new concept has been several months in the making," said Jonathan Bailey, vice president, Mission Health. "Being able to offer our patients, visitors and caregivers the highest quality food in a wonderful setting is part of our BIG(GER) Aim: to get each patient to the desired outcome, first without harm, also without waste and with an exceptional experience for the patient and family."

Café 509 serves more than 2,500 people a day and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.