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Cooking For The Cardinals, Making Hospital Food Palatable: Chefs Who Work Outside The Restaurant

In our monthly Sound Bites segment in partnership with Sauce Magazine, host Steve Potter spoke with the magazine’s executive editor Ligaya Figueras and two local chefs whose work takes them outside of the restaurant: nutrition specialist for the St. Louis Cardinals Simon Lusky and SSM DePaul Health Center sous chef Kore Wilbert. Lusky also is co-owner Athlete Eats, a small business that started out cooking for pro athletes in the off-season and now includes a restaurant on Cherokee Street.

When thinking of careers for chefs, the most obvious choice is to work in a restaurant. But there are other career choices out there, said Figueras. Sauce Magazine featured Wilbert in the What I Do column of the April issue. Lusky will be the featured chef for the column in May.

Not Your Average Hospital Food

St. Louis native Kore Wilbert studied to become a chef at L’École Culinaire before becoming sous chef at SSM DePaul Health Center. With the help of a staff of thirty, Wilbert prepares made-to-order meals for all the patients, as well as feeding the hospital staff.

“You can pretty much order whatever you want at any time of the day,” Wilbert said. “You’re not stuck with the Monday meatloaf, and that’s all you get. We’re trying to change people’s minds about what hospital food is now.”

“Often times when you’re a patient there, you’re getting bad news all day, poked and prodded, you don’t know what’s going on. But sometimes the meal can change the whole mood, you’re whole day,” he added.

Charged With Fueling The Team

As team chef and nutrition specialist for the St. Louis Cardinals, Simon Lusky prepares meals for the team before home games.

“It’s a little bit of a different atmosphere because my kitchen is actually right down in the clubhouse,” he said. “We’re working with the players, talking with them, seeing how they’re feeling, seeing what they need.”

His kitchen is stocked with a long line of hot sauces because each player has their favorite.

Lusky brought a sampling of items from his Athlete Eats menu to sample during the show, including a Korean dish, kale chips and Adam Wainwright’s favorite PB&J snack bar.

Cityscape is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer, hosted bySteve Potter and funded in part by the the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis, the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.