Celebrating National Nutrition Month: Meet Alex Bermudez, Chef at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children

Celebrating National Nutrition Month: Meet Alex Bermudez, Chef at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children

In the halls of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, amidst the whirlwind of activities, a culinary artist’s passion for cooking extends far beyond the kitchen. Alex Bermudez, a seasoned chef in St. Mary’s Food Services Department since 2013, brings his culinary expertise, heart, and soul to the table.

Food Services

Alex’s journey to becoming a chef at St. Mary’s is a testament to his dedication and love for the culinary arts. Having started as a dietary aide in various New York City hospitals, including Wyckoff and Beth Israel, Alex sought career advancement to fulfill his culinary dreams. St. Mary’s provided him with the opportunity he had been longing for – the chance to step into the chef role.

Recently, we had the privilege of sitting down with Alex after a day of preparing delicious meals for St. Mary’s staff, residents, and family members. Here is a glimpse into our conversation:

Q: What made you decide to be a chef?

A: “My older brother and I grew up in a Spanish household. My mother would let us cook alongside her. My brother didn’t have the patience for it. I loved to cook alongside my mother, so I learned all I could. My mother taught me how to make beans from scratch rather than out of a can, and we’d make a special pork pernil dish (Puerto Rican Roast Pork) together.”

Q: Did you attend school for cooking, or are you self-taught?

A: “I did both. In addition to cooking at home, I enrolled in the New York Restaurant School and took a year of courses specializing in pastry arts. My courses included completing an internship at the Mary Off Jane café on the Lower East Side of Manhattan”.

Q: What is your best memory or experience working at St. Mary’s?

A: “I recently worked with a young resident who was about 14 years old. He had been attending culinary school when he became ill and lost his arm motion. When he heard I was a pastry chef, he began working alongside me in the café. His favorite item to make was donuts. I was happy to share his love of baking before he passed away.”

Q: What do you like about working at St. Mary’s?

A: “The best part of my job is interacting with my peers, both within and outside my department. I love being the cafeteria chef and appreciate that my managers allow me to bring new ideas for changing menu items to the table.”

Q: What are your favorite healthy dishes?

A: “I love salads, especially Caesar. I also like salmon grilled with lemon juice.”

Q: What tips do you have for us on how to cook healthier?

A: “Cut out the grease, and always choose fresh over frozen when possible!”

As we celebrate National Nutrition Month, Alex Bermudez stands as a beacon of culinary excellence and a champion of healthy living. His dedication to crafting wholesome meals and nurturing a sense of community exemplifies the mission and values at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children.

Let us applaud Alex and the entire Food Services team for their commitment to promoting health and wellness through the power of nutritious cuisine.

Bon appétit!