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Published on October 27, 2011

Mercy is first hospital in the Corridor with fat fryer-free kitchen

Mercy Medical Center is changing the way it cooks for patients, visitors and employees. Beginning this week, Mercy's kitchen staff is using new Combi ovens, which combine convection and steamer cooking capabilities.  With the change, Mercy will be the only hospital in the Corridor with a completely deep fat fryer-free kitchen.

"We are confident the food we prepare in the new Combi ovens will be well-received by patients and those who dine at the Mercy café," says Pam Oldham, co-director of Food and Nutrition Services at Mercy. "We've already done some preliminary taste testing with very positive results. We are still serving the same foods that were traditionally fried, but now in a new and healthier way and without losing great taste."

The Mercy Café staff began researching replacement options several months ago for its outdated deep-fat fryers, ovens and steamers. They decided on the new Combi ovens not only for the health benefits they offer but for their additional versatility. The new Combi ovens are able to cook in various modes such as baking, poaching, healthy frying and steaming. For instance, in the convection mode, the oven circulates dry heat – ideal for pastries and breads. The steam mode injects water into the oven to poach fish, rice and vegetables.

The Mercy Café will continue to serve favorites such as French fries, tenderloins, chicken strips and fish sandwiches. The new cooking technology will allow French fries, for instance, to be deep-fat crispy — without the deep-fat frying.

Mercy Chef Andy Deutmeyer says he's excited about using the new cooking technology.

"The Combi ovens will provide us with more cooking technique options, thereby providing a newfound wide-gamut of culinary possibilities. Another benefit is that the ovens provide more consistent cooking results. I'm anxious to bring this new technology to the hospital," said Deutmeyer.

The new Combi ovens were installed earlier this week and are now fully operational.