5-star dining:
Willowdale strives to give food experience to diners
By Mark Sherry
Lynn Pendleton, the certified dietary manager at Willowdale Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in New Holstein, said she and her staff works to provide a five-star dining experience for the facility’s residents and visitors. Mark Sherry photo

Have you eaten at the new five-star restaurant in New Holstein?

It’s called Willowdale Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

OK, so Willowdale probably will not be confused with Paris’ Pierre Gagnaire but the crew of about 10 employees who staff the food service area at Willowdale truly strive for a five-star dining experience for their residents and visiting family members or guests.

Lynn Pendleton is the certified dietary manager at Willowdale. She has been employed at the nursing home for about 15 years, starting when she was in high school. She worked as a dietary aide, in housekeeping, and as a cook. About 10 years ago when her supervisor retired, Willowdale promoted her to that position and provided for her to take online courses via Milwaukee Area Technical College. After completing the course in about a year, Pendleton also had to take and pass an all-day state test to become certified.

She also has to complete 45 Continuing Education Units every three years, some of which are online and some for which she has to travel to area schools. Pendleton said she does not view continuing education as a burden but as an opportunity to learn new things which are out there and which she can bring back to Willowdale. “They have some interesting things that you learn,” she said.

Pendleton and her staff are applying everything they know to continually improve the dining experience at Wil-lowdale. “We’ve gone more toward the fine dining aspect of it, more homemade food. We do give our customers good choices.”

Willowdale residents can select one

of two entree choices for their meals as they make the selection the day before.

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