An Homage to Heritage: Discover Our Elite Chefs' Family Secrets

  • March 20, 2020

Shh! They're our family secrets. From family favorites growing up to grandma’s secret ingredient, discover heirloom recipes passed down from generations to our Five Star Senior Living Elite Chefs. Sure to invoke happy memories surrounded by loved ones at the kitchen table, these comforting meals will bring everyone together while paying homage to the unique cultures and traditions of our Five Star family. Enjoy!

Meet the Chefs

ChefQuinton.jpgChef Quinton Branson
Food & Beverage Director of Parkwood Village and the Landing

Chef Quinton Branson was born in Baltimore, Maryland and grew up in Greenville, North Carolina where he graduated high school. While attending school, he opened up Corner Stop Café for the students and staff. With a passion for cooking, he helped his mother cater for many years – cooking, making sales, and delivering food to many customers. He then took a job as a dishwasher at Cypress Glen United Methodist Retirement Community. Through his hard work he became a line server, then a baker, and moved up to be a manager for eight years. In 2012, he began working for Five Star Senior Living at Parkwood Village and The Landing as a cook. After five years of dedicated service, he became the Food and Beverage Director. Chef Quinton is currently continuing his education to better serve his residents at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts.

The Cider Glazed Bundt Cake recipe was passed down from my great grandma, who always made this cake around holidays. Since then I have either added my own touch or, took something out to make it my own. My great grandma would make these cakes for each of her children and ask them to pass the recipe on to their children. It has now passed through four generations. My Godmother used to make the Strawberry Delight for me every summer when I came down to visit her. She knew I loved strawberries, and whenever I came to visit her we would go pick them or buy them from the Farmer’s Market. I learned how to make so many things with strawberries from her. She passed this recipe down to me, and I have been using it ever since.

ChefScott.jpgChef Scott Freiberg
Food & Service Director of Morningside of Sumter

Chef Scott knew at a young age that he wanted to pursue a career in the culinary arts. He started in the industry as a dishwasher as he went to school to enhance his cooking career. After earning his Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management from Florida International University and graduating from the Culinary Arts Program at Palm Beach College, Chef Scott held a variety of chef and Executive Chef roles at popular restaurants in Florida and South Carolina before joining the Morningside team in 2006. In the kitchen, Chef Scott’s favorite dishes are inspired by his love for healthy, plant-based cuisine.

ChefPaul.jpgChef Paul Glassman
Food & Beverage Director of The Forum at Park Lane

Chef Paul has been passionately involved in the culinary and hospitality industry for over 25 years. He earned his Certification in Culinary Arts from L’Academie de Cuisine Culinary Art School in Bethesda, Maryland and started his career working in prestigious country clubs and hotels in New York City and Washington DC. Chef Paul brings his experience to The Forum at Park Lane where he currently works as the Director of Food & Dining. Paul is also a five star elite chef and an instructor in the Five Star Culinary Academy.

My grandmother made Chicken fricassee regularly, though as a child I never appreciated the boney chicken necks and chicken wings, or the giblet. I didn’t understand why it was called chicken fricassee if the meatballs and the brown gravy were the most interesting, delicious thing about it. To this day, I consider a chicken fricassee to be about great gravy, for which I now know the giblets and boney wings are essential. I cannot eat it without soft bread, to sop up the gravy.

My mom serves matzah ball soup every Friday night, and she’s always made it in the oven. When I left home and found myself without my weekly fix, I called her for the recipe and followed suit. I didn’t realize that this was unusual until I was well into my 20s. I’d never heard of anyone doing the same, but the soup was so great I didn’t stop to question it. There are very few that cook the entire soup in the oven. In fact, my mom doesn’t even know the original source of this method — only that my grandma did the same. The recipe has never been written down, just passed down the generations by word of mouth, so its inception will always remain a mystery.

ChefManny.jpgChef Manny (Juan) Lasprilla
Food & Service Director of Gracemont Assisted Living

Growing up in Barranquilla, Colombia inspired Chef Lasprilla to capture the essence of South American cuisine in his cooking. He often lends his talents to new culinary ventures. In 2009, Chef Lasprilla used his expertise in wood fire cooking to create a Colombian influenced menu for a new Jewish South American restaurant. He also proudly competes in Five Star Senior Living chef competitions across the country.

What follows is my mother’s basic arroz con pollo recipe, which she adjusts depending on her mood and what she has on hand. For instance, she might substitute chipotle chile powder or red chile powder for the paprika. We never use saffron in our arroz con pollo, but many people do. You can also add chopped bell peppers (cook with the onions) or peas (mix in at the end). It’s an easy, stove-top, one pan dish, great for family meal!

ChefAdam.jpgChef Adam Miller
Executive Chef of The Palms of Mt. Pleasant

Chef Adam Miller began his career in the food and beverage industry working as a bartender and restaurant manager. These roles helped him discover his passion for cooking, and he enrolled at the Art Institute of Charleston where he led his team to a bronze medal at the regional ACF competition. He graduated in 2012 and worked in popular restaurants under the direction of several well-known chefs who mentored him and helped him work his way up to Executive Chef. His talent, experience, and education make him an exceptional part of the culinary team at The Palms of Mt. Pleasant.

ChefLindsey.jpgChef Lindsey Perkins
Executive Chef of Morningside of Bowling Green

Executive Chef Lindsey Perkins earned her degree in Culinary Arts from Sullivan University and jumped right into the industry she loves. She’s spent the past 6 years working in food service, getting the experience she needed to join our Five Star family as Executive Chef. Lindsey is passionate about preparing nutritious meals for the Morningside residents and she loves listening to their stories, learning more about their favorite meals, and incorporating them into our menu.

I grew up in southern Kentucky where home grown tomatoes and fried squash are summer staples. Where the smell of cut grass is only beat by the smell of Daddy's Fried Cajun Frog Legs. It’s a place where memories and meals are made with love by the people who love you most. Remembering my grandmother will always be her in her Coco-Cola® themed kitchen with checkered floors and the smell and pop of bacon grease as she says for the hundredth time how blessed she is to have me as her grandbaby. Although I think of my grandmother as many things, she is mostly a good cook. Making candy and clothing is her specialty and I’m lucky to be in the eye of her storm. Every time I recreate her Divinity recipe, I’m filled with happy memories. Salmon Croquettes are served every year on May 25th for my sister's birthday along with Mama's creamy mashed potatoes and sweet corn on the cob. This simple but classic recipe was made to fill your belly and stick to your ribs. It's the perfect comfort food used to tell your family "I love you" without saying a word.

ChefMatt.jpgChef Matt Stanley
Food Service Director of The Haven & The Laurels in the Village at Carolina Place

Growing up near the world-famous St. Louis Ribs, in the center of his “foodie” family, Chef Matt developed a passion for culinary arts at an early age. After moving to Charlotte, he decided to explore his cooking talent in the military where he truly started his culinary career and discovered the magic of Asian Cuisine. Upon his return from a 6- year service in Japan, he spent a summer in Paris mastering his baking skills and found a new love – pastry. Over the past 15 years Matt has collected and expanded on his experience through a wide-range of culinary venues in the area. He put his mark on the Charlotte restaurant scene by working as an Executive Chef, Executive Sous-Chef, and a Manager at various local establishments such as French, Cajun, Italian, and Japanese restaurants, high-volume Convention Center, Carolina Panthers Food Service and catering for private and corporate events. Matt continues to refine his craft and spread the joy of food to our senior population by passionately bringing a “Taste of the World” to the residents of The Laurels and The Haven at Carolina Place on a daily basis.

These two recipes were handed down from my father’s side of the family. Rumor is they originated from my great, great grandmother Stanley in Kansas City, Kansas. This was something my family would make for Sunday lunch after getting back from church. The tangy-ness of the glaze on the ham loaf offsets the smokiness of the ham. The richness the cheese adds to the potato pancakes accompanies the ham loaf well.

ChefTim.jpgChef Timothy Strasser
Executive Chef of Five Star Premier Residences of Yonkers

Chef Strasser began working in the restaurant business at 14, at a continental restaurant where he served as busboy and short order cook. He worked with a catering company throughout high school before attending Ramapo College, where he studied environmental science. Tim realized that cooking was his real passion, and decided to attend the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. After earning his degree, Chef Strasser worked in several Classical French restaurants in Manhattan. Over the next eleven years, he worked in restaurants, hotels, and corporate dining facilities. In 1995, he began his career in the senior living industry as Executive Chef at Five Star Premier Residences of Yonkers, then called Classic Residence. He continued his education and became certified as an Executive Chef with the American Culinary Federation and a Certified Dietary Manager with the Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals.

These recipes are from my grandmother, who came to the U.S. via Ellis Island from Switzerland in the early 1920s. During the depression she and my grandfather raised rabbits, as they were cheap to feed and reproduced quickly. They also grew a lot of vegetables in their small garden. My grandmother worked as a cook on a college campus and she did most of the cooking at family holidays. When we were young children we were told that rabbit was chicken because we probably would not eat it if we knew what it was, especially when we often saw the rabbit coup in the yard. I had never heard of kohlrabi until the first time I tried it at Thanksgiving, and from then on it became a staple at every holiday meal.


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