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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UMC chef wants in to ‘Hell’s Kitchen’

    Mario Diaz-De Sandy, executive chef at the University Medical Center cafeteria, prepares lunch for a long line of hungry hospital workers and patients. Chef Diaz-De Sandy is currently applying to appear on the TV show Hells Kitchen.
    Mario Diaz-De Sandy, executive chef at the University Medical Center cafeteria, prepares lunch for a long line of hungry hospital workers and patients. ‘Chef’ Diaz-De Sandy is currently applying to appear on the TV show ‘Hell’s Kitchen.’

    University Medical Center staff want to send the hospital’s executive chef to Hell.

    “”Hell’s Kitchen,”” that is.

    Mario Diaz-De Sandy, executive chef at UMC, applied to compete on the next season of “”Hell’s Kitchen,”” a Fox Broadcasting Company cooking-competition show, to help raise money for the UMC’s children’s unit.

    If he is picked by producers, Diaz-De Sandy will have the opportunity to exhibit his cooking skills and possibly win the position of head chef job at a luxury restaurant. The show is hosted by world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsay.

    “”I want to go toe to toe with Ramsay to see what I’m made of,”” Diaz-De Sandy said.

    However, Diaz-De Sandy said his pursuit expanded from a personal quest into a cooperative effort with UMC because he wants to raise money for the UMC’s children’s unit.

    When Diane Patrick, a UMC employee, heard that he applied to the show, she put up flyers asking people to e-mail the show’s casting producers to voice their support for the chef.

    “”We’re working to try to get him on the show,”” Patrick said. “”I want everybody to e-mail.””

    Patrick is planning to hold a “”stay-a-thon”” to benefit the UMC children’s unit if Diaz-De Sandy makes it onto the show. The “”stay-a-thon”” would allow people to pledge monetary donations for the number of episodes they expect Diaz-De Sandy to remain in the competition.

    Diaz-De Sandy manages the UMC cafeteria, monitors the quality of the cafeteria food and ensures that the food is prepared correctly.

    The cafeteria serves about 4,500 meals daily, many of which are consumed by patients, Diaz-De Sandy said.

    “”(The service) is patient-driven,”” Diaz-De Sandy said. “”We’re here to take care of people who are not doing well.””

    Diaz-De Sandy said that by changing the food’s presentation, the UMC cafeteria has “”kicked it up a notch”” since he became executive chef, even though the cafeteria is restricted to a designated menu that caters to the nutritional requirements of the patients.

    “”You take your average meal and put some flair into it,”” Diaz-De Sandy said. “”People eat with their eyes first.””

    “”He’s trying to put more diversity in the entire section,”” said Veronique Poulin, a UMC physician who has been eating at the cafeteria for two years. “”People love the grill.””

    The prize for the upcoming season has not been revealed, but if the winner receives anything like the brand-new 35,000-square-foot restaurant at Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa in Las Vegas that last season’s winner Heather West received, Diaz-De Sandy said he will be thrilled.

    “”I have used my talents to make all of my employers money,”” Diaz-De Sandy said. “”If I could only put all my talents in my own restaurant, that would be a dream come true.””

    Diaz-De Sandy sent in an application to Fox this summer and is awaiting word regarding a possible audition.


    You can help Chef Mario Diaz-De Sandy get on “”Hell’s Kitchen:
    send an e-mail to: HK3casting@granadaprod.com

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