Food Services Manager Colin Hammond photographed with homemade sweet potato pie
As Christ House’s Food Services Manager, Colin prepares healthy, fresh, and delicious meals for our patients every day. Colin is originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama and has culinary experience from the Seattle Service Corps, Edible Hope Kitchen, and AmeriCorps Vista. Colin and our team of 3 full-time cooks prepare meals which support our patients’ overall health while providing joy and diversity to our patients’ meals each week. Yesterday, we had the pleasure of sitting down with our kitchen staff to learn more about their work, and to share some nutritious recipe recommendations for the New Year. Colin says:
First, I wash my hands, and then look in the fridge to see what’s available. It’s important for us to use the ingredients that we already have, and to create a healthy and balanced meal. There should always be a primary carb, protein, and vegetable. There should also always be delicious alternatives for patients with dietary restrictions, including those on a soft diet, no pork diet, and those with gluten and sugar sensitivities.
Colin’s next step is to work on meal preparation, where timing is key.
Meals need to be fresh and hot, so everything should be ready within 15 minutes of service. Working quickly, effectively, and efficiently ensures that our patients receive the highest quality of meals possible.
When our patients enter the dining room, they are often welcomed by our kitchen staff and volunteers with something new to try, like homemade oat milk, blueberry coffee cake, or jerk chicken. Our kitchen staff enjoys working with volunteers and creating new recipes with them. Sous Chef Micah shares:
One of the best parts about working at Christ House is the volunteers. Every day you get to meet new people, learn new things about them, make great relationships. You get to leave each day knowing you’ve made an impact in other people’s lives – in the patients’ lives and in the lives of the volunteers. They join the team. Lots of people want to keep in touch even after they’ve moved far away.
Colin says his favorite part about working in the Christ House kitchen is that it’s possible to do something new every single day:
We rely on donations, which keep our meals interesting. The variety is valuable, and not every organization can provide this. Our chefs are also very happy because they get to try out different recipes and work on improving day by day.
We are excited to share a few of these recipes with you today! We encourage you to try them out and let us know what you think by sharing photos on social media and tagging us (@christhousedc).
It is only possible for our kitchen to create such delicious meals with your help! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year our food donations decreased by 56%. Christ House needs your support to keep our kitchen inventory full. To view our in-kind Amazon wish list, please click here. To view our current high priority food needs, please click here.