Eventide Jamestown Culinary Coordinator Kelsey Krapp holds up one of her scratch-made pecan pies.
If you can’t find Eventide Jamestown’s Culinary Coordinator Kelsey Krapp in the kitchen, there’s a good chance she’s in the dining room chatting with residents about food.
Or she’s hiding out in a quiet space ordering supplies, organizing a holiday party and planning weekly menus, setting staff schedules, researching recipes and a host of other duties.
“I’m all over the place,” she said. “Cooking, training staff, helping serve meals. There’s a lot on your plate if you’re in culinary.”
Kelsey is meticulous and sets the bar high. She insists on making almost everything from scratch, and those items that might come in a can or a box has to be really good quality to meet Kelsey’s standards.
“I make a lot of scratch-dough bread, and bake fresh bread and dinner rolls for dinner,” Kelsey said. “I don’t order the prepackaged stuff unless I absolutely need to. I really try to stay away from it.”
These crowd-pleasing recipes are courtesy of Eventide Jamestown residents.
Hotdish haven and delightful desserts
Feeding Eventide residents and staff balanced, satisfying meals every day—and chatting about all things food—is clearly just one part of the job, but for Kelsey, it’s the best part.
“Getting to hear everyone’s stories when I go out and talk with them is amazing, and I try to do that as much as I can,” she said. “I also ask them for some of their own recipes every once in a while, and we’ve had a lot of good times making those. They just love it.”
Her folder of resident recipes is stuffed full of family favorites passed down generations. Noodle casseroles with sour cream, cottage cheese, Parmesan all mixed together, baked and served with meatloaf is an example of a crowd-pleasing favorite from a former resident.
“You see them being happy and everything for little things like that and it just makes you feel good,” Kelsey said.
Kelsey gets some downtime from kitchen duties by spending time camping, hiking and being in nature.
Recipe for success
Kelsey has been “in and out of kitchens since high school,” she said.
After graduation from Jamestown high school, Kelsey attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in the Twin Cities area where she discovered a passion for pastries.
“Baking is where I really excel,” she said. “Breads, pastries, pies, you name it.”
Kelsey worked at bakeries in Ohio for several years before she found herself pulled back to the Jamestown area about 12 years ago. Soon after, she took a job at an insurance agency for several years until 2018.
The kitchen was calling her back. That’s when Kelsey saw an opening for a culinary coordinator at Eventide Jamestown. With her impressive schooling and experience cooking and managing others, she was a shoo-in for the position.
“I just couldn’t sit in an office all day,” she said. “When I got to Eventide, I had a sense that this is where I wanted to be.”
Appetite for community
Since joining Eventide, Kelsey has reinvigorated the menus at Eventide with her focus on from-scratch cooking, team building and community involvement.
“We really like doing community events, like a community brunch where we invite everyone to come over for some eggs and bacon, pancakes—the works,” Kelsey said. “The last time we hosted one of those, we ran out of everything!”
Kelsey takes great responsibility for managing her culinary staff, too. She wants to make sure they have what they need in the evenings and on weekends to manage the kitchen successfully.
“I’ll write out all my recipes for them and include notes so they know what I do. I train them the same way that I cool, the from-scratch way. The goal is for everyone to maintain a consistency in quality,” Kelsey said.
Spice of life
Another important aspect of her work: being able to laugh.
“You gotta have a good sense of humor and upbeat attitude. Our staff, we’re like friends, we joke around all the time and crack jokes all day long, she said. “I’ve gotten a lot of people out of a bad mood and it just makes the day a little bit better.”
Kelsey said her sense of humor extends to how she treats many residents, as well. “Sometimes if someone isn’t in a great mood, and you know, if you can just talk with them and crack a little joke, it makes them happy.”
Taking a bite out of life
Admittedly, Kelsey doesn’t take a lot of time off from work. When she does, however, she makes the most of it by doing what makes her feel the best: camping and being in nature.
“I get very stir crazy in the winter,” she said. “In summers I go kayaking, and I usually camp somewhere like in Glacier (Montana). If I get any time off, I’m going somewhere camping.”
For the love of food
Just like music, food has the power to bring back fond memories in people of all ages. Plus, it just tastes good, too.
“The world revolves around food,” Kelsey said. “You have to eat, so just make it good and do what you can to make other people happy.”
For the love of food, we are so thankful for everything Kelsey does for our families in Jamestown. Thank you to this amazing #DifferenceMaker!