St. Louis – October 26, 2022 – It’s hard to think of something more fundamental to a person’s well-being than a nutritious meal. Dismas House of St. Louis serves delicious food, prepared with the culinary expertise of a trained chef, as one of the most important ways of showing respect for its clients. Dismas House is the region’s residential reentry center for justice-involved individuals who are transitioning back into the community.
Treating the whole person
It’s been said that the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. Dismas House believes that nutritious and delicious meals are a key part of their recipe for treating the whole person as they prepare to reenter into society.
“The Food Service Department is the backbone here at the Dismas House,” said Maurice Graham, Dismas House of St. Louis chef and food director. “We take our spirit of servitude seriously. It is a calling, and we are proud to give our clients an experience that can only be found with meals prepared with love and care.”
Chef Graham, a graduate of Eurest Dining Culinary with additional training at L’Ecole Culinaire in St. Louis, joined Dismas House in 2011. He oversees the menu and the staff that prepares three meals a day, every day of the year. The kitchen features fresh produce provided by local purveyors in the St. Louis region. Chef Graham and his team’s goal is to provide as close to made-from-scratch meals as possible.
“Our meals are planned on a four-week cycle that is approved by a certified dietician,” Graham said. “When seasons change, so do our food/eating preferences. That’s why we think it is important to offer soups and chowders in the fall/winter and more salads and sandwiches in the spring/summer.”
Dismas House meals are approved by a certified dietitian
The variety of food prepared by the kitchen staff, who are all food-handler certified, knows few boundaries. Each day has a unique meal plan for the 84 different meals prepared in that four-week cycle. Here is a sampling of what’s on the menu.
- Breakfast: Breakfast sandwich, egg and cheese sandwich, oatmeal, French toast, pancakes.
- Lunch: Hot dog, fried chicken sandwich, chef salad, vegetable fried rice, cheese pizza.
- Dinner: Roasted chicken, meatloaf, pizza, country fried steak, lasagna, fried cod sandwich, patty melt.
“Since we are in the heart of the Midwest, we prepare a wide variety of cuisines, from Mexican to Italian to Chinese to Southern comfort food. Our staff presents a satisfying meal for the body and soul,” Graham said.
The holidays are especially important at the Dismas House. Chef Graham and his staff are currently planning Thanksgiving dinner, which will be served on Thanksgiving Day, with fresh roasted turkey and all of the traditional trimmings.
“We get a lot of compliments that the food here is great,” Graham said. “Interacting with the clients is truly an enriching and rewarding experience that motivates us each day to prepare satisfying meals for the body and soul.”