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Love, hot from the oven

For staff, it’s her banana cake. For residents, it’s her apple crisp. But no matter which creation a person craves the most, Dining Service Director Jessica Goodwin’s love of baking is matched only by the chef’s own love for her work.

“Baking is my passion,” said Jessica. “I think the balance of different combinations of flavors and textures is what can make a great dessert. When it’s done right, it should give you a warm satisfying feeling—like home.”

For anyone who has ever tasted one of Jessica’s creations, it’s hard to imagine her anywhere other than the kitchen, but during her 10 years at Emporia Presbyterian Manor that hasn’t always been the case.

“I started out as a part-time server here and kept working my way up. When I started to bake, I found out that I really loved it. From there, I moved on to cooking and then getting to work with Chef Johny Partwary really inspired me to learn more and grow myself into a chef,” said Jessica.

Now, as the director of dining services, Jessica does less of the day-to-day cooking and more budgeting, managing and teaching her team the finer points of hospitality and service. But that doesn’t mean that her job is any less rewarding.

“I love the rush when it’s serving time then being able to watch the residents enjoy their food,” said Jessica.

Luckily, she still finds time for the banana cake and apple crisp.

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