Shauna Jellsey, Director of Culinary Services at Morningside Ministries, recently earned her Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) certificate by passing the CDM Credentialing Exam in November. Shauna was one of only 55 individuals who passed the challenging exam during that time and is now officially a CDM, with credentials in dietary needs, liquids, and sanitation for skilled nursing facilities.
In addition to her CDM, Shauna has attained many culinary achievements. An accomplished chef, Shauna started working in a commercial kitchen when she was just a teenager. At only 15, she started her culinary adventure working at an Italian restaurant in Wildomar, California. She worked for the restaurant throughout high school until she was 18, learning her way around a professional kitchen and absorbing all she could from the restaurant’s owner, who was a chef originally from Italy.
When Shauna turned 19, a colleague from the Wildomar Senior Leisure Community reached out to her to see if she would like to work in the facility’s professional kitchen, cooking for independent and assisted living residents. She accepted, embarking on a four-year adventure, finding a home and joy in working for senior living communities. Shauna then received an offer from (ISL) Murrieta Gardens Senior Living where she was promoted to Food Service Director at the age of only 23. She continued her journey with ISL and was again promoted to Senior Director of Food Services in 2016. This new role meant Shauna had the opportunity to train all the new Food Service directors and fix kitchens that were struggling. She spent 12 years there continuing to hone her craft.
During this time, she also embarked on her own business with her husband Derek, creating an award-winning hot sauce and barbecue company, TATS Sauces & Marinades. With her culinary expertise, Shauna would create homemade sauces for her family and friends at backyard barbecues. One of those sauces, TATS Black Dahlia Ghost Pepper, was named the best BBQ sauce of the year in 2011 by I Love It Spicy. Shauna also picked up an award for the Feast Your Eyes on this Spicy Cooking Challenge at the Houston Hot Sauce Festival in 2012. The couples’ customer base grew, including Albertson’s and local farmer’s markets. Derek and Shauna decided to put TATS on hold to focus on their growing family with the arrival of their first-born baby Jordy in 2014 (although they may revive their sauce company again in the future).
Shauna, Derek, and their young son Jordy decided to move to San Antonio, Texas, in 2018 when Shauna transferred with her company to Shavano Park Senior Living, an ISL Community. While at Integral, one of Shauna’s colleagues told her that they envisioned greater things for her and shared an opening to work for Morningside Ministries when the opportunity arose. Excited at the challenges of a new culinary adventure at Morningside Senior Living and running three kitchens, she accepted. Since then, she also took on managing the kitchen at Morningside at The Chandler Estate and raising a newborn, her daughter, Hailey, while studying to obtain her CDM.
Morningside Ministries is proud of all of Shauna’s accomplishments. All food at The Meadows and The Chandler Estate is made by hand and with love by Shauna and her kitchen crew, who feed an estimated 400 residents a day. Shauna says her favorite thing about working for Morningside is being able to share her passion in food and being allowed to play with culinary concepts. Shauna says, “Everything is made with love. My goal is to give Morningside the reputation of a 5-star restaurant for senior living communities and #1 in Rehab, and continue to grow.”