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New executive chef to lead MHSC Nutrition Services

Leah Lassise and her culinary team look forward to ‘keeping
up with current food trends without losing the favorites.’

Rock Springs — Leah Lassise is the new Executive Chef and Nutrition Services Director at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County.Leah Lassie

Lassise has lived in Rock Springs for most of her life, but moved away to pursue her education in the culinary field. Being away made her realize how much this area truly was her home.

“I missed the kind people who live in this community and the feeling that you have when you are home,” Lassise said.

She has spent many years honing her culinary skills on an amateur basis until attending the Art Institute of Phoenix, where she received her culinary degree. Lassise also managed a paleo restaurant — Blooming Beets Kitchen — in Chandler, Ariz. Upon receiving her degree and chef certification, Lassise returned to Wyoming to be with family for a while when she heard about the opening at Sweetwater Memorial.

“I really feel that everything has happened for a reason and I know this was meant for me,” she said. “Rock Springs is home, the people are my family, and now Sweetwater Memorial is my extended family, as well.”

Lassise is accustomed to offering a well-rounded menu, which she hopes will suit the patients, staff and community.

“I studied under two master chefs at the Art Institute. One was Master Chef Bill Sy (Wan Chung) who taught me more than I could have ever expected,” she said. “He taught me the philosophy behind everything we cooked. His way of instruction came from his heart, which made me a better cook.”

Lassise doesn’t have a specific forte. However, her Asian cooking skills are accelerated because of Chef Sy.

“I’m very excited to be a part of this culinary team,” she said. “They work hard; they enjoy creating new recipes and maintaining old recipes that have been enjoyed in previous years. The staff in the kitchen and cafeteria have embraced the philosophy of keeping up with current food trends without losing the favorites.”

Lassise has been asked to keep the healthy options available while keeping the comforting foods on the menu.

“We will strive to bring the best balance we possibly can,” she said.

The desire of the culinary team is to cook with exceptional product, proper preparation and seasoning with a “large dose of love.”

Lassise utilizes a book called, “The Flavor Bible.” She said it is an amazing resource to explore flavors and seasonings to best complement different food items.

In a hospital setting, “We are trying to care for patients to help them heal while nourishing our healthy patrons at the same time,” Lassise said.

She hopes that, through the kitchen, one and all are treated in mind, body and soul.

“I am humbled and privileged to be afforded the opportunity to create with this wonderful group of people,” she said. “I appreciate the warm welcome and am happy to be home with my family and a part of my new extended family at Sweetwater Memorial.”