"I just love making a difference every day."
One woman is committed to making a difference through mealtime in Marquette.
Director of Food and Nutrition Services Lisa Quested works at Riverview Estates, located at 202 S. Washington St. in Marquette. Riverview Estates offers skilled nursing facilities and adult day care, and is currently home to 36 residents.
“I started at the end of November and part of my plans for change included fundraising,” Quested said.
In looking at the calendar, she realized that the English holiday of St. George's Day fell on a Sunday this year.
“It's a day that England gets patriotic and we fly our flag,” Quested said.
In honor of the patron saint of England, Quested will prepare a traditional English Sunday lunch, served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 23.
"I thought we'd do some English food," Quested said. "I hope it doesn't scare people off."
The meal will start off with cream of vegetable soup.
"In England, you tend to start off with a soup, not a salad," Quested noted.
Following the soup course, diners can enjoy bangers and mash, with locally made sausages provided by Piper's Fine Foods. Roast beef with Yorkshire pudding will be the main dish, along with roast potatoes, and a roasted root vegetable medley.
"We eat more root veggies," Quested said.
A raspberry trifle is planned for dessert.
"Hopefully we can get a get a full house and raise some funds for our residents," Quested said.
If the event proves to be a success, other meals themed around a culture's cuisine will be held.
"I'm planning a few more over the summer," Quested said.
The chef would like to cook Mexican food for Cinco De Mayo, and prepare traditional Caribbean, Thai and German dishes on other days.
Quested's competence with foods from around the globe is in part due to her training. Originally from Plymouth, England, she attended a culinary school there and participated in an exchange program for cooking in Germany.
A self-proclaimed fan of the movie "The Wizard of Oz," Quested said she never dreamed she would actually live in Kansas someday.
After moving to the United States, she has worked in dining services at McPherson College and Lindsborg Hospital. She also spent a total of 6 years at the Valley Cafe in Marquette, where she prepared German dishes.
"It was kind of ironic," Quested laughed. "I was English in a Swedish town and known for my German food."
Quested said she knew she wanted to work at Riverview Estates, and jumped at the opportunity when the position opened up.
"It's a very rewarding job, that's for sure," Quested said. "I just love making a difference every day."
Changing the menus wasn't the only way the chef sought to make Riverview Estates' residents feel more at home.
"We're setting the tables with linens and fresh flowers," Quested said.
Meals are served on plates instead of trays, and residents can request their favorite foods.
"Today, I bought cherry pie for one resident; she loves cherry pie," Quested said. "It's just listening to what they want, one-on-one."
When a resident can have familiar foods they ask for, they feel they are listened to and valued.
"In the industry anyway, there's a lot of cultural change in resident care," Quested said. "It's just really nice seeing the smile on their faces when you do what they ask of you."
For the traditional English Sunday lunch, reservations are required and a minimum donation of $15 per person is requested.
For more information about Riverview Estates or to RSVP for the English lunch, visit http://www.riverviewestatesks.com or call 785-546-2211.