The kitchen is commonly known as the heart of a home and the same can be said for the kitchen at St. Louis Center. From the start, SLC kitchen staff has provided fuel for the bodies of the residents. In the early days, one nun and one staff member prepared meals for the residents. This included making meals in advance for the small number of resdents who remained at the Center over the weekend, as most residents went home.
As the Center expanded and admissions increased, the kitchen, too, had to change to meet the changing dietary needs of the residents. By the year 2000, more and more residents required special diets. Through all of these changes though, the kitchen layout has remained the same. A walk-in freezer was added and in late 2019 new ovens and cooktops were installed.
Today, to meet the needs of the required modified diets, kitchen staff has increased to six. Food service personnel are in constant communication with nursing staff to help monitor the progress of residents on modified diets. They also consult as needed with dietitians at St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea and UM Family Medicine about diabetic, PKU, low calorie and low fat diets. The kitchen is committed to serving as much fresh food as possible.
The implementation of Montessori principles at SLC promotes the involvement and autonomy of the residents. The kitchen staff has supported this by offering the residents a variety of choices and programs, including cooking club, lunch packing and monthly menu selections.
As the Center grows, the kitchen staff must manage many details including menu audits and maintaining dietary logs for nursing. They must also prepare a large number of modified diets and coordinate transportation of those meals from the main kitchen to the residences throughout the Village.
Read more about SLC’s culinary crew here.