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uc_davis_polenta_tower_w_sweet_potato_pomegranateb.png Photos: UCDMC
One of the first whole-food, plant-forward offerings created in late spring for UCDMC’s catering operation and one retail location, the Davis Tower features herb polenta, sweet potato-yam cake, parsnip and beet purées, local mushroom and fennel.

Q&A: A California healthcare chef on how to make big changes at a big operation

Being affiliated with one of the country’s most famous agriculture schools wasn’t enough to ensure that hospital dining at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento was as plant-forward and local as Executive Chef Santana Diaz is currently pushing for.

Since last winter when Santana Diaz took the reins as executive chef at UC Davis Medical Center (UCDMC), he’s been coming up with local, fresh solutions through training staff on whole veggie butchering, rearranging logistics and purchasing, and testing new recipes for retail, catering and the patient side. As Diaz makes progress, the 6,500 meals served per day on average from UCDMC’s kitchen are getting more local and fresher tasting.

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