Seniors spice up their day with facility cooking challenge

Publish Date:

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 1:50 pm EDT

Category:

News Organization:

The Florida Times-Union

Source URL:

On a Wednesday afternoon at Sunrise Senior Living on Belfort Road, residents gathered in the facility’s event space to watch the dining services coordinator compete against the maintenance coordinator in a cooking challenge.

The event was the first of its kind for the Southside senior living facility and mimicked the Food Network television show “Chopped,” where chefs turn baskets of mystery ingredients into a three-course meal.

Dining Services Coordinator Anrique Narciso and Maintenance Coordinator Rudy Williamson had to prepare an appetizer using ramen noodles, chicken, honey mangoes and mushrooms, followed by an entrée using pork chops, plantains, collard greens and cottage cheese, as well as a dessert using blood oranges, Nutella, chocolate covered raisins and crumb cake.

Narciso and Williamson each chose a resident to act as their sous chef in order to impress a panel of five judges, which included two facility coordinators and three residents.

Hayley Stayman, Sunrise Senior Living activity and volunteer coordinator, said while the facility hosts the “Taste of Sunrise” event each year to showcase their dining program, they hosted the cooking challenge to get residents involved.

“We take pride in providing high quality services for our residents and we want them to enjoy everything about their day,” she said. “We also invite people from the community so they can see that as well.”

Executive Director Nicki Grudzinskas said the event is a chance for the senior living facility to set itself apart from others.

“It’s a really good showcase of the teamwork that goes into all of our events and it’s an opportunity to showcase our dining service program with resident involvement,” she said. “We try to make sure our residents live their passions.”

Grudzinskas said she hopes the event becomes an annual tradition at Sunrise.

“I’d love to grow it and possibly make it a fundraiser next year,” she said. “We want the Sunrise community to be part of integral part of the community and give our residents an opportunity to live with purpose.”

Stayman added that the Chopped challenge could serve as a fundraiser for Alzheimer’s.

“We hope to raise awareness for our community and to have a good time with our residents, which is always a big thing for them to enjoy what’s going on,” she said. “I hope it becomes a bigger event so we can open it up to the public more and get our names out there so people know who we are.”

Though Williamson won the dessert round, Narciso claimed the title of Chopped champion after dominating the appetizer and entrée rounds.

“It’s a great way for us to showcase our dining program, which we take a lot of pride in,” Narciso said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to host it again in the future.”


Sunrise Senior Living Tweets