Ask the Experts: Seniors & Aging

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From left: Alagie Sey, Sherial Ellis, Morissa Harris, Jacques Auguste, and Shanice Davis. Photo by Michael Ventura

Kensington Park Senior Living

Mary Mell, Executive Director

LOCATION

3620 Littledale Road
Kensington, MD 20895

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Phone: 301-946-7700

Email: mmell@kensingtonsl.com

Website: https://kensingtonparkseniorliving.com

Q: How does Kensington Park’s executive chef Morissa Harris customize the dining experience for 200-plus residents across four distinct dining settings?

A: A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Chef Morissa’s zest for food transforms every mealtime gathering into a sensational dining experience for the residents and families of Kensington Park. She often compares this executive chef role to running her own restaurant. While most senior living communities utilize rotating set menus, Chef Morissa has free reign to create her own seasonal menus from soup to nuts. Though this task is more time-consuming, it is a labor of love. Feedback is vital to her mission. She meets one-on-one with residents to absorb their ideas and favorite family recipes then weaves them into the menu. Her dynamic original recipes, often from a variety of cuisines, follow all dietary guidelines and incorporate the latest culinary trends and freshest flavors. Every day, every dish offers novelty to be savored.

Q: How does Chef Morissa’s team of servers contribute to the exceptional dining atmosphere?

A: While it’s a trend in the senior living industry to use caregivers as servers in the dining room, Kensington Park relies on a highly trained dining team to deliver individualized service, always with a smile. All three buildings have a dedicated lead server who is responsible for owning that dining room. This enables staffing consistency, which fosters strong relationship-building between servers, residents and families. Team members know residents’ wants and needs by heart and are quick to observe changes in personal preferences, so they can adapt quickly to customize each experience. Their attention to detail and commitment to excellence adds yet another layer of unparalleled service at Kensington Park

“I teach a monthly cooking class via Zoom that’s complimentary and open to all, every third Tuesday afternoon at 2:30. Summer dishes include heirloom tomato salad, lemon raspberry ricotta cake and salted caramel martinis. Kensington Park’s website has info on its events page.” —Chef Morissa Harris

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