An Uncompromised Approach To Dining

April 05, 2022


As the saying goes, we eat with our eyes first – and that sentiment is top of mind every day with the Dining Team at The Chateau®, Moorings Park’s Skilled Nursing and Memory Care Center.  They make it their mission to ensure that every meal they prepare is created and plated with the same level of excellence that can be found at any one of the community’s 5-star restaurants.

According to Len Way, the Director of Dining for Healthcare, The Chateau staff goes the extra mile while preparing meals for residents experiencing chewing and swallowing difficulties. Often, these meals must be pureed to make them easier to eat – but Way insists that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy a delicious, beautifully-plated meal.  

Chefs at The Chateau have the pleasure of empowering guests with dysphagia to dine with dignity by enjoying meals with the same great flavor, aromas, and appearance as their peers. The texture-modified meals are visually highly appealing while also providing complex flavor and aroma profiles and nutrients that fight cognitive decline.

Chicken Cordon Blu (1)Chocolate Brownie (1)
Belizaire’s award-winning meals: Chicken Cordon Blu with Mornay sauce, glazed carrots, rice and peas, and a chocolate brownie with cherry and crème anglaise sauce

Last year, an interesting opportunity came along for The Chateau to put its culinary skills to the test on a national level. The team entered the “Puree with a Purpose,” contest which challenges chefs around the country to design and prepare a pureed entrée and dessert that is just as appetizing to look at as it is to eat.

“When we heard about the Puree with a Purpose competition, we were intrigued,” says Way. “We saw this as a great opportunity to continue to perfect our process.”

Jean (2)Representing The Chateau was Sous Chef Jean Belizaire, who has worked at Moorings Park for seven years. Originally from Haiti, Belizaire worked with Len Way at a previous company –and after Way joined the Moorings Park team, it didn’t take him long the find an opportunity to bring the talented Chef Jean over to The Chateau.  Jean started as a dishwasher before working his way up the ladder from prep cook to lead cook, to sous chef.  Way thought Belizaire was the perfect person to represent The Chateau in the competition – and he quickly proved that he was up for the challenge.

The competition was broken down into several stages, each of which narrowed the field of nearly 60 participants to several finalists who were sent on an all-expenses-paid trip to Boston for the final showdown. Jean Belizaire was one of them.

With judging being based on many factors, which included plate presentation, flavor, and its resemblance to a traditional plate of food.  Safety, sanitation and recipe adherence were also key factors in choosing a winner.  In the end, Moorings Park’s Belizaire made it to the top three participants in the country – an honor that showcased his talent, creativity, and love of cooking.  

His award-winning dish was a gorgeous plate of Chicken Cordon Blu with Mornay sauce, glazed carrots, rice and peas, and a dessert featuring a chocolate brownie with cherry and crème anglaise sauce. Every detail of the plate was pureed food, right down to the cherry stem.

“Competing in this competition was a life-changing event,” said Jean.  “I saw so much while working with the other chefs. Watching them create their dishes was so interesting and it helped me learn and grow a lot as a chef.”

The Sole Purpose of His Work is to Help People

While Belizaire still works at Moorings Park, the young chef hopes to one day have his own kitchen as an Executive Chef and continue to learn, grow, and help other culinarians meet their potential. All the more, he is currently studying to become a Registered Nurse. Whether he’s a chef at The Chateau or working as a nurse, one thing is certain. Belizaire’s passion is to help people.

Year in and year out, The Chateau is ranked in the top 10% of healthcare providers by US News & World Report. The 5-Star rated Chateau at Moorings Park is also a recipient of the Governor's Gold Seal Award, a testament to our commitment to our exceptionally high standards and display excellence in the quality of care delivered to our residents.

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