CSP’s culinary team manages two kitchens on campus: a kosher kitchen at Rose Schnitzer Manor and a second kitchen at the Robison Health and Rehabilitation Center that serves residents at the Center and at the Harold Schnitzer Center for Living.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed some aspects of food service dramatically. Before, gourmet meals were served in dining rooms and the Cohen café. In warmer months, residents could dine al fresco on the patio and enjoy a glass of wine with friends at a weekly happy hour in Marcy’s Bar. The kitchen prepared community feasts to mark holidays and occasional barbeques during the summer.
At the Harold Schnitzer Center for Living, residents could dine together in family-style settings in their respective household centers. Patients receiving rehab at the Robison Center have in-room dining with therapeutic and modified diet options.
Since mid-March, for the health and safety of residents, community dining came to a screeching halt. Quickly adjusting, Chef Jon and his culinary team began delivering fresh, hot food to the rooms of some 150 residents. According to Chef Jon, the monumental shift required a cohesive, all-hands-on-deck approach with the residents’ needs front and center. “We found the secret sauce to making things work,” he said.
Today, residents select from personalized menu options in advance for the coming week. Accommodations are made for those who take medicine with food or need a “to-go meal” when a doctor’s appointment conflicts with meal times. The team has learned who needs help opening their food containers and which residents are visually impaired and need help knowing where food items are on the plate.
With a sound system rigged to their cart on wheels playing Big Band favorites, the delivery team carts meals and music to residents on different wings and households. “The residents love the music,” Chef Jon said.