Foodservice Equipment Reports
Editor's Take Editorials

A Facility Design That’s Beautiful Inside And Out

In mid June, I got a call from a good supplier friend. We are always on the look-out for great new unit kitchen and facilities designs, and he had a doozy. He told me about Baptist Health Lexington, a 383-bed hospital in Lexington, Ky., which opened a stunning new servery and patient kitchen in February. Facilities designer Stan Schwartz and his team at PFDI out of Cleveland, had their work cut out because the hospital’s foodservice needed to span three floors, the receiving dock on the ground floor, the retail cafe on the second floor, and the main kitchen and warewashing up another floor from there.

I gave a Stan a call right away. My original plan was to get more information and slot the story for a future issue. But as soon as I talked with Stan, I slated the story immediately for this issue, instead. And in a particularly rare move, I arranged for our Contributing Editor Janice Cha to fly down to do the interview on site. I felt she had to be there because what makes this design compelling is not what you see on the facade (which is certainly great looking), but the elaborate, centralized systems that support this facility’s functions behind the scenes. Stan and his interior design colleague Rita Gochberg joined Janice from Cleveland, and they toured with Rand Cimino, director of food and nutrition services with Morrison’s, and members from Compass Group.

You’ll read about the behind-the-scenes design in the article, but there’s even more we learned. For example, the bulk CO2 delivery system tank, located on the dock in an enclosed space, supplies gas to three soda dispensers in the servery and a cafe on the first floor. The set-up eliminates the need for manual handing and point-of-use CO2 cylinder storage. The remote rack refrigeration system supports the kitchen’s six walk-in coolers, a walk-in freezer and a blast chiller; it reduces noise and heat in the kitchen, along with HVAC costs. Water filtration is centralized and supplies all sensitive equipment and potable water outlets. Fryer oil supply and discard is centralized and automatic and keeps employees out of the hot oil business. While these systems aren’t new, it’s remarkable that PFDI made use of every good system at its disposal.

Stan was fortunate to work with a client that understood the long-term savings and operational benefits of systems that were no doubt expensive to install. And Baptist Health Lexington was fortunate to find in Stan a designer who understands that a job worth doing is worth doing well.

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