college of culinary arts

college of culinary arts

Food for Comfort
JWU Culinary Program Alumni, Michell Feinstein '84

The average stay of a terminal patient at Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island (HHCRI) is five days. As executive chef, Mitchell Feinstein ’84 feeds body and spirit.

In September 2008, he visited his father-inlaw at the center. Three months later the position of dining services manager was advertised. “We believe his hand was instrumental in guiding me here. I knew what care he received, and we were at his bedside when he passed away,” Feinstein says. “It was a gift he gave us. Then he gave me another gift to pay it forward.”

Feinstein and his staff of three make fresh food every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., serving those in end stages of life and offering support for their families. He puts extra care into patients’ dishes, garnishing with edible orchids and granting special requests. There are no dietary restrictions. “I had a woman yesterday that wanted fish and chicken for breakfast with her eggs and pancakes. It’s whatever they want.” Feinstein added kosher food to the menu after a patient’s wife suggested it. He took such care in making a requested peanut butter and jelly sandwich, with freshly baked bread, the guest’s family was moved to tears.

The HHCRI facility, the first with a kitchen, opened in June 2009 after being refurbished with light-colored wood floors and furniture and lots of windows for sunlight. Just outside of Feinstein’s shiny stainless steel kitchen is a big, bright room with tables, food and coffee for family members. A nutrition station with hot soup and snacks is open around the clock. “I haven’t met a nicer group of people,” he says. “They come in to grab a sweet or a cup of coffee. They are very appreciative of whatever amenities we have.”

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Noted Chef Turns Global Recruiter
JWU Culinary Program, alumni, Barak Hirschowitz '92Barak Hirschowitz ’92
shifted gears in his career in 2004 when he went from being executive chef at Tides Restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, and named “one of the country’s great chefs” by Food & Wine magazine, to opening his own company, Hospitalio Recruitment

Hospitalio grew quickly, recruiting globally for hotels, restaurants and cruise lines for such brands as Starwood Hotels, Hilton International and Royal Caribbean, plus smaller, luxury properties. Hirschowitz runs the company with business partner, Kyle Ovens, out of offices in Sarasota, Fla., and Cape Town, where he was born.

Hospitalio recruits for mid- to senior-level positions, mostly in the expatriate environment, sourcing Western professionals and expats to work for clients in places like the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Many companies offer expatriate packages to sweeten the deal including a tax-free U.S. salary (up to about $80,000), housing, transportation and health benefits and 30 days vacation. “In this environment, when you’re struggling to find a position in the U.S., it’s not a bad opportunity to go overseas, earn some money tax free and have most of your daily living expenses paid for by the company,” says Hirschowitz. “It’s a good way to get some international experience.”

Although Hospitalio doesn’t source in the U.S. for recent graduates, Hirschowitz does have some advice — learn another language besides English. “The world has changed, and most companies have become very international, especially in the hospitality industry.”

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quick take:culinary arts

Vicky Moore ’02 was featured in the November 2009 issue of Esquire and named one of Four Breakout Chefs to Watch by food critic John Mariani. Moore is chef de arts cuisine at The Lazy Goat in Greenville, S.C.