CCL’s National Puree Contest Showcases how Changemakers are Elevating Dignified Dining

CCL Hospitality Group's National Puree Contest champions dignified dining in health and senior care with innovative, nutritious, and visually appealing menu options.
National Puree Contest 01

BOSTON, MA (September 28, 2023) – CCL Hospitality Group and its operating companies, Morrison Living and Unidine, held its annual Puree Competition, bringing together team members nationwide to draw attention to the innovation and science behind creating quality, puree meal options for residents and patients of health and senior care communities. The value of specialized programming is central to the organizations’ commitments to creating positive change, enhancing hospitality, and empowering individuals limited to specialized diets to have dignified dining experiences.

Individuals who experience difficulty chewing and swallowing due to cognitive impairments or physical limitations may be at greater risk of choking, aspiration, pneumonia, malnutrition and dehydration. Those experiencing such symptoms are often placed on diets that consist of pureed foods and thickened liquids to prevent complications, especially as people with dysphagia can be vulnerable to weight loss or poor overall nutrition.

Morrison Living’s and Undine’s unique puree programs focus on executing menu options with attention to detail, drawing on consistency standards, technique and skill to ensure the texture-modified food retains its nutrients and flavor. By implementing practices centered on safe and enticing menu options, patients and residents enjoy meals that aesthetically match their non-puree counterparts for a more sustainable wellness plan that promotes better clinical outcomes. An added benefit beyond providing nutritious and delicious choices is that it fosters higher social engagement, improves the guest experience and increases overall satisfaction.

As clinicians, presenting a meal that looks close to the real thing but meets the modified texture needs of residents and patients is crucial. Our residents and patients still very much eat with their eyes, taste and smell senses – but sight is the first to entice appetite. Offering a meal made from whole, clean ingredients that has an appealing appearance and taste has consistently improved overall nutritional status for our residents and patients.

Ellen Lowre RDN, LDN
VP of Nutrition, Wellness, and Sustainability
CCL Hospitality Group

Finalists were drawn from a diverse talent group; after competing at the regional level, three were chosen to move on to the national finals:

  1. Danyea Bailey – Morrison Living, Sous Chef
  2. Grace Murphy – Unidine, Cook
  3. Arlayna Jackson – Morrison Living, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Care Manager


Arlayna Jackson RDN, LDN, took home first place and the coveted puree championship belt with her entrée of Pan-seared Scallops, Charred Tomato Coulis, Minted Pea and Saffron Risotto, Honey Ginger Carrots, and a Petite Black Forest Cake for dessert.

Pureed Pan-Seared Scallops
Pureed Petite Black Forest Cake

We are incredibly proud of all those that entered, and each and every one of our team members that consistently strive to deliver high-quality experiences, making a difference in the lives of patients and residents. It was exciting to have such strong representation from our teams and to experience their passion and desire to innovate first-hand. This event is more than a contest; it is an opportunity to recognize team members’ abilities, nurture them and support them in their professional goals.

Dan Natterman
CEO
CCL Hospitality Group

About CCL Hospitality Group

CCL Hospitality Group is a nationwide leader in culinary and support services with four distinct operational companies – Morrison Living, Unidine, Coreworks, and The Hub. We provide modern world-class hospitality infrastructure, talent, and innovation. We are shaping the industry’s future leaders with a culture of service focused on elevated hospitality offerings for community living across the country. Learn more here.

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