Life Was Made to Savor
At MorningStar Senior Living, residents receive an upscale dining experience characterized by diverse dishes showcasing creativity and personal tastes.
At MorningStar Senior Living, residents are given an upscale dining experience characterized by diverse dishes that showcase culinary creativity while catering to personal tastes.
MorningStar is inspired by the belief that dining is the centerpiece of personal wellness. Through proper diets and healthy choices, food is a healing medicine unlike any other. It is also one of the great joys of living, especially when enjoyed in community. Breaking bread together provides far more than physical nutrients; it bonds us as family and friends.
MorningStar Dining Accommodates Resident Preferences
Executive Chefs design seasonal menus that feature the freshest ingredients from high quality producers, locally sourced when possible (sometimes from our own resident gardens). We are dedicated to crafting menus that reflect direct feedback from residents, who are encouraged to voice their likes, dislikes and preferences at table or at monthly Chef Council.
New menus in 2021 include more choice and variety served all in our restaurants. Offerings are largely prepared from scratch, just as residents would have done in years past, with daily and weekly specials as well as a la carte items. Interest in vegetarian and vegan dishes is climbing.
We have ready-to-go and finished-to-order meals for residents to take to their suites if they prefer a quiet meal alone. An increasing number of communities offer grab-n-go options to accommodate a senior’s busy day. Some communities feature full-bar service; others, wine and beer selections during happy hour and at meals.
Taste buds alter as we age. Our Chefs are trained in how best to modify menus and recipes to accommodate food sensitivities and allergies along with changing needs. Our nutritional choices include low sodium, gluten free, sugar free, no sugar added and low fat for residents to self-manage.
Like all great chefs, ours love walking the dining room to build relationships—and gather feedback, for when food is the topic of conversation, there’s never a loss for words.
Our chefs also love exhibition cooking. Today it might be Bananas Foster in our dining room. Tomorrow, a lesson on pastries in our Life Enrichment kitchen.
Chef Mike DeGiovanni—Most Tenured Team Member
“After 18 years of service to seniors at MorningStar, it amazes me that we’ve kept God at the forefront, following the original vision Ken Jaeger had, going in that direction because we believed in that vision.” Mike DeGiovanni, VP of Culinary Operations
Residents quickly become familiar with the affable Mike DeGiovanni, Certified Executive Chef, who has been cultivating flavor at MorningStar since 2006. Now serving of Vice President of Culinary Operations, Chef DeGiovanni guides MorningStar’s innovative dining program for all 32 communities, overseeing efforts to elevate our kitchens with a host of distinguishing brand standards.
DeGiovanni remarks, “There was a time in decades past when senior communities would pull together largely processed ingredients into a generic menu with little creativity or variety. Today’s seniors have vastly different tastes, having traveled broadly and experienced cuisines around the world. Our obligation to their sophisticated palettes is to represent a broad sampling of the world’s foods and flavors, introducing new combinations and flavor profiles while also presenting the nostalgia of comfort foods.”
Executive Chef Training Program
One of the investments the company has made is its Executive Chef Training Program, an exclusive seven-month course that equips candidates in every facet of running a MorningStar kitchen. This new program not only instructs and inspires up-and-coming chefs in culinary skills and menu creation, it teaches the many soft skills of being a servant-leader. Graduates receive a bonus and first-priority interviews for any open Executive Chef positions.
In November 2021 MorningStar University graduated its first class in the Executive Chef Training Program, pictured above with Chef DeGiovanni (far left),Ken Jaeger, MorningStar Founder/CEO (center) and Steve McConaghie,
VP of Leadership and Training (far right).
One of the courses served at the graduation ceremony, created by the graduates.
The next ECTP course begins in January, together with a second track called Coordinator Training Program which will raise up leaders in other disciplines within our community teams. The continuing education offered through MorningStar University acts upon the third pillar of our mission: Invest generously in our team’s ability to serve well.
The Future of MorningStar Dining
Chef DeGiovanni and MorningStar’s cadre of Executive Chefs are ever on the creative path. One area of focus is expanding BrainWise, which is as much a lifestyle as it is a program at MorningStar. We prioritize the use of ingredients which are known to support brain health through their high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. The charge of MorningStar’s culinary team is not just to create flavors to delight the eye and palate, but to leverage the phenomenal benefits of these aptly named “Super Foods,” items like acai berries, Omega 3 fats, dark chocolate and dark greens. MorningStar residents will see even more of these oh-so-healthy additions on our daily menus.
LIVE TWICE THE STORY
Enjoy these miracle moments of connecting and caring
MorningStar Senior Living—Assisted Living Community
If your loved one lives far from family and friends, it could be time to move into an Assisted Living community nearer to family where they can enjoy the companionship of peers and a compassionate service team. At MorningStar, a 24/7 team is dedicated to offering care and hospitality services that meet each resident’s social, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.