Chef’s Corner

Marcey Freese – Dining Services Director

It takes an especially talented person to oversee a smooth dining operation such as ours. With multiple dining venues and menus, Marcey Freese has proven she has what it takes. Of course, she has had a lot of practice. Working for another local retirement community for 13 years, Marcey oversaw a team of 95 associates, managing talent recruitment, training and schedules for two full kitchens, three satellite kitchens and five dining rooms. And she did it year after year without a single deficiency noted in federal, state and county surveys and audits. Naturally, we liked her track record before she got here and now that she’s leading our outstanding team of dining associates, we continue to be impressed. Marcey not only has excellent management skills, she’s also a talented cook, a skilled bartender and she even leads a Watermark University class on cake decorating. In addition to ensuring a quality dining experience, she loves planning special events that showcase the skills of our talented team.

Marcey originally trained to be an artist, but thank goodness she tip toed into the dining profession because she simply missed working with people. As a result, she has learned everything she knows about dining service on the job. And she’s still learning. Energetic, caring, hardworking, and supportive, Marcey describes herself in one word as “a pleaser.”

Regarding joining Watermark, Marcey says, “It feels like I was meant to be here. I love how Watermark gives back to the community and cares for its associates, residents and families like they are family.” Marcey says she enjoys making a difference in the lives of people both personally and professionally.  “I want everyone from the dining staff to the residents, their family and friends we serve to enjoy their time here every day and to look forward to it, whether it’s their workplace or the best dining experience as possible,” she said.

Chef’s Recipes

Pat Caffrey – Thrive Dining Consultant

My culinary career began at home as a child who was always in the kitchen helping mom prepare meals for our family of eight. In third grade, I authored a cookbook, “Gourmet Goodies,” filled with each of my classmate’s favorite recipes. My “professional” career began at age 16 as a dishwasher, then a cook. After high school, I attended chef school in San Francisco and put my cooking skills to work in a variety of venues, including casual restaurants, airline catering, steak and seafood, country club, hotel, hospital, and finally senior living venues. My favorite food service sector is by far senior living, which is why I have been doing this for 24 years. I get a tremendous feeling of joy when I make a meal memorable.

My favorite cuisine is classic comfort food. We try to replicate the feeling in our dining room that I remember growing up, sitting up to the table, enjoying a well cooked meal with enjoyable conversation. I also have a passion for creating ice sculptures. I learned this skill 30 years ago and my chain saw and I have carved our way through 300,000 pounds of ice creating over 1,000 sculptures and counting.

My motto has always been “simple, but elegant”. I am always thrilled to hear the word “wow” when someone tastes our food, admires an ice carving or receives exceptional service. I’ve been honored to receive Watermark’s award for leadership, as well as Director of the Year. I recently competed in a state dessert competition, and my recipe for Peachiladas with Strawberry Salsa earned 3rd place. I welcome you to call to join us for a meal and hope you will say “Wow!” too.