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Cooking up joy at Levande: Learn how weekly chef shows are bringing the community together

Amy Weiss | Mar 9, 2021

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“I need to take a nap… I’m so excited for the wine tasting, and I don’t want to miss it,” Virginia remarked to Candace Magnuson, director of culinary services at Walker Methodist Levande.

To bring smiles to the faces of residents—and team members—Candace has been planning themed chef shows each week. So far they’re enjoyed mocktails and cocktails, banana splits, and a Mexican-inspired dinner.
Candace and her culinary team offer each chef show twice: once at lunch for memory care residents, and again in the evening for independent and assisted living. The team knows little things—like blueberry lemonade and candy roses or smothered burritos—mean a lot to residents. But serving residents also brings joy to team members, lifting their spirits as they build relationships and share jokes.

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These events are a collaboration between the culinary team, providing delicious food, and the life enrichment team, offering lively music and engaging activities. “When I lead afternoon bingo, residents are always talking about what Candace has planned,” said Shay, life enrichment director. “They’re intrigued and excited.”
What’s next on the menu? Wine tasting with cheese and crackers, bananas foster over ice cream, malts (with 50s music), and a luau night with piña coladas. “Residents smile the moment they come through the door,” said Candace. “It’s a stress reliever for me, too. I can’t explain it… It brings the whole community together.”
Resident Marilyn’s comment says it all: “I’ve been waiting for these margaritas since I woke up!”

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