Nutritional Services Director Stan Mosel and his nine-member staff have the challenge of providing patients with daily menus that are both nutritional and appealing. It’s further complicated because patients have individual eating habits. “We have people who come in and just want to ‘chow down,’ and we have people who are more selective about what they want to eat or have food allergies.”
Enjoys Meeting People and Hearing Their Stories
Stan, who joined the La Hacienda team in November 2016, says his work is more than just preparing and serving food. His office door is open for patients to come in and talk with him about individual nutritional concerns. “I enjoy meeting the people and hearing their stories,” he says. “We’re trying to help them get back on the right path, to a way of life where they can enjoy again simple things like going out and having a nice meal.”
Holiday Meals Are Highlights
Thanksgiving and Christmas buffets are highlights of the year for the nutritional services staff. “Preparing for these meals is much work, but it is something they enjoy. Our staff takes a lot of pride in putting out a delicious meal. It is a time when they can go above and beyond.” These midday holiday meals are “all hands on-deck” events until everyone else is served. Then the dining staff sits and eats together.
Interested in Food Prep Since High School
A 1984 graduate of Kerrville’s Tivy High School, Stan’s interest in cooking started as a teenager. “It’s a way to make a living, and I like to eat,” he says. After gaining experience working in several local restaurants, he was food service manager for a retirement community. Then, for eight years before coming to La Hacienda, he was executive chef for the Inn of the Hills.
A Special Workplace
In addition to the unique concerns of feeding patients, Stan says working at La Hacienda is different because management strongly supports staff. “I never worked any place where the owners treat employees as well as they do here. Profit is not the primary motivation. It’s patient care first, then employees’ well-being.” “That’s pretty spectacular in my book.”
Desserts, Not Stressed
Asked to pick a favorite food, he picks barbecue brisket. As indicated by several trophy antlers in his office, Stan likes to hunt, and he has some great recipes for turning “game” into “gourmet.” He also favors country music and old western movies, and, at the end of a workday, he likes to make dinner for his wife and stepson. He doesn’t let the pressure get to him. He prefers “desserts” instead of its opposite: “stressed.”