First head chef hired at Lemont Nursing & Rehab
LEMONT — The heat is on in the kitchen for Eduardo Nepomuceno as he was recently hired as the first head chef for the Lemont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Nepomuceno jumped at the chance to become the center's head chef as he hopes to utilize his background in nutrition, dietetics and restaurant management to provide a great meal for nursing home residents. He previously was in charge of managing and overseeing operations and cooking for Panda Express, Portillos/Barnelli's and Pei Wei by PF Changs.
"It's a higher quality of food and something they would go out to eat with their family to get," Nepomuceno said of the dishes he is preparing. "They can get that meal here. It's quality meals and at the same time I know its nutritionally sound. That was my goal."
The goal for the nursing facility is to use only fresh ingredients and raise the standards of dining for residents, he added.
Nepomuceno is in charge of creating dishes for the residents' menus, coming up with four unique dining events each month such as a "build a burger" night and planning seasonal menus, which include hearty dishes like stew in the winter and lighter dishes like fruits and salads in the summer.
"Being the first head chef, I really need to make an impact and that is the direction we are heading towards," Nepomuceno said. "We want to be more culinary-focused in the meals of our residents rather than just getting by day-to-day. We want to pay attention to detail and present them with food that is visually appealing."
Despite his passion for the culinary arts, Nepomuceno said he never wanted to become a chef and actually was enrolled in a Philippines university to become a doctor.
"I always liked cooking but I never saw myself doing it professionally," Nepomuceno said. "It actually clicked when I was doing my internship in a hospital. I saw the tray line and all the big pots and ended up spending my time in the helping line than doing my rounds."
At 20 years old, Nepomuceno decided to begin catering as a part-time job, which helped launch is career as he was able to support his schooling for a nutrition and dietetics degree.
Today, Nepomuceno looks for a long career with the center as he hopes a corporate chef position becomes available for him to train incoming chefs at other centers to achieve the same goal of serving high quality food to residents.
"The goal is for all the facilities (owned by the Lemont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center) to eventually have the same vision as we have — restaurant quality food at home," Nepomuceno said.
About Eduardo Nepomuceno
Family: Married to Regina Lee
Education: Bachelor's degree in nutrition and dietetics from the Philippines and culinary arts degree from College of DuPage
Hobbies: Cooking, working out to keep active, shopping
If you have any technical difficulties, either with your username and password or with the payment options, please contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org