Meet Cura Culinary Personalities


Caption: Chef Eileen with Cook Derrick Drayton Prepare Fried Chicken!

Cura is best known for enhancing life around great food, but did you know that team members are also famous culinary personalities featured in their communities and hospitals?  Meet some of our personalities who are providing an element of entertainment to dining!

Cooking with Eileen creates healthy and innovative entertainment for our residents through physical distancing!  Director of Dining Eileen Goos, CDM, CFPP, at Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina at Summerville, is the star chef of the show, conducting live culinary demonstrations that are streamed to resident apartments through the community’s in-house tv channel.

Cooking with Eileen debuted in late March 2020 featuring how to create the best-tasting tuna avocado salad in Summerville, SC!  The recipe called for tuna, red onion, colorful peppers and fresh avocado seasoned with fresh grated lemon and olive oil. Chef Eileen prepared her recipes step by step, and even addressed the nutritional benefits of tuna and avocado – both heart-healthy ingredients!    “We did a resident survey of what they liked best about Cooking with EileenResidents enjoyed the show, but especially loved the nutritional benefits that I provide.”

Cooking with Eileen is now a staple program at Summerville.  During the second show, Chef Eileen prepared a pork tenderloin with sautéed spinach, which will be on the Summerville menu once dining rooms reopen.   The most popular segment by far was fried chicken, one of the most treasured foods of the south!  “Preparing fried chicken is a two-day process.  Together with my cook, Derrick Drayton, we brine the chicken and let it set overnight so it soaks in buttermilk.  The next day we drain the chicken, bread, and then deep fry in canola oil (no trans-fat),” says Chef Eileen.  A Summerville activities staff member even stopped by the Cooking with Eileen set dressed as a fried chicken!

At press time, Cooking with Eileen was taking it outside – preparing for an All-American traveling cook out!   The Cooking with Eileen team will place their grill on a flat-bed trailer and drive it to several spots throughout campus.   The trailer is decorated with red, white and blue streamers and balloons giving it an authentic All-American look.  Once the grill arrives, residents are encouraged to come out on their porch and enjoy the cook-out where Chef Eileen is grilling burgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob, later served for lunch to residents in their apartments.    “Since we can only hit a little bit of the campus at one time, the event will take us three weeks to travel throughout the entire community, “says Chef Eileen.

Before moving to SC to manage the Summerville community, Chef Eileen managed the food service for Cura at St. Anne’s Community and last served as the director of dining at Phoebe Richland, both located in PA.  Residents love Chef Eileen wherever she manages!    Chef Eileen was also featured in FoodService Director Magazine in Feb. 2020 for being the “first” senior living community to participate in Scrumptious South Carolina, a local fundraiser that benefits victims of child abuse.

Jovane Stephens, dining assistant at Allegheny Health Network’s (AHN) Jefferson Hospital, made a cameo appearance in AHN’s commercial on the importance of staying home!  Jovane is the fifth person in the commercial who exclaims “Get Back on that Couch!”  The commercial is currently airing throughout Pittsburgh. 

Jovane joined Cura in 2016 and was the recent recipient of the Recognize and Acknowledge Valued Employees (RAVE) award!  RAVE is an Allegheny Health Network (AHN) award that honors employees who provide exemplary care or service to patient, a patient’s relative, friend or a fellow employee.   Jovane was one of two Cura employees who received the RAVE award, the first time that non-AHN employees received the awards!

A patient remarked on Jovane’s dedication to the people he serves:  “I had a test which caused me to miss breakfast.  When I returned, Jovane called my room and asked if a bagel was delivered.  When I said no, he promptly took my order and had an early lunch tray delivered.  This really had an impact on me and my stay.  Every time he comes to the floor, he is upbeat and positive.  He is truly a model employee.”

Punxsutawney “Phil’s” café news from Chef Manager Ron Burkhardt is published monthly and features everything from menu offerings, COVID-19 refresher tips, to what’s available in the new grocery market at Punxsutawney Area Hospital in PA!   In fact, the new market, made possible by Ron and his team, recently made the local Punxsutawney news for helping those on the frontlines at the hospital who have little opportunity to go grocery shopping.  The market is stocked with several staples including paper towels and toilet paper!  Ron is also collecting egg cartons, “Eggs are in high demand.  They are less expensive if I purchase on 2.5 dozen flats, which is where the egg cartons come in handy.  I sanitize the cartons I receive and then re-package the eggs in the cartons,” says Ron.

Keep on the look out for more of “Cura’s” culinary personalities…