Oak Crest’s Signature Dining Creates Restaurant Experience, Unleashes Culinary Career Opportunities

Parkville, Maryland--As she stir fries a Thai scallop and shrimp dish over a bright, searing flame, Jeanna Deugwillo says with a smile, “Serving our residents is the best part of my job.  That is what it’s all about.”

Jeanna is a Line Cook at Oak Crest, the Erickson Living retirement community in Parkville.  While attending nearby Perry Hall High School twelve years ago, she began working as a student server in one of the five restaurants located at the 87-acre campus.  She was even awarded a collegiate scholarship through the resident-supported Student Scholars’ Fund.

Now, Jeanna is honing her culinary skills in the large kitchen located adjacent to the Fireside Restaurant, cooking fresh meals for residents as part of Oak Crest’s signature dining initiative.  Every day, residents enjoy a restaurant experience with an emphasis on all new cooked-to-order menus.  

For Jill Clippinger, the Acting Director of Dining Services, the reward is more than just seeing delicious dinners made.

“Developing the talents of our employees is a great feeling.  It pays off when you see professionals like Jeanna who are passionate about our mission and embrace exciting new concepts such as signature dining,” stated Mrs. Clippinger, who began her employment at Oak Crest in 2003 as a restaurant manager.

Signature dining was a move away from traditional “batch cooking.”  

“As a dining services department, the concept challenged us to re-configure thinking and operations as well as refine our abilities.  Cooking to taste means cooking for an individual, not fifty people.  It means refined time management and learning new recipes,” described Mrs. Clippinger.

The results have been impressive.  “Our variety has improved.  The daily menu includes three weekly specials and a fresh seafood catch.  Overall, 15 percent of the menu changes monthly and 45 percent on a quarterly basis,” said Mrs. Clippinger.  “The residents like the expanded selections and fresh taste.  As a team, our kitchen skills have sharpened which makes it exciting for our chefs, line cooks and prep team.” 

Jeanna proudly declares her own career goal.  “One day, I’d like to manage the kitchen.  I feel my career path is taking me in the right direction,” she stated.

“We provide extensive training, create annual goals and partner with employees to write their individual development plans,” noted Mrs. Clippinger.  “Together, these tools can lead to advancement and set the stage for a tremendous culinary career.”

Oak Crest currently has openings for line cooks and prep cooks in its restaurants.  For more information about employment opportunities, please visit https://jobs.ericksonliving.com or contact Steven Arthur, a Recruiter with the Oak Crest Human Resources Department, at Steven.Arthur@erickson.com.


About Oak Crest:  Oak Crest is one of nineteen continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living.  Located in Parkville, Maryland the scenic 87-acre campus is home to more than 2,100 residents.  Oak Crest is the ideal greater Baltimore retirement destination offering a true sense of community, convenience beyond compare and a sensible financial structure.