Grace Cottage Food Service manager receives national award

Denise Choleva

Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital Food Service Manager Denise Choleva of Jamaica has been named the Certified Dietary Manager of the Month by the national Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals.

Choleva has worked in food service at Grace Cottage for 22 years and has managed the department since 2002.

Choleva started her training for this career as a child, helping her grandmother with her catering business. She attended high school at Franklin County Technical School in Turners Falls, Mass., studying culinary arts and working in restaurants and a grocery deli.

In her position at Grace Cottage, she promotes camaraderie among her staff with the slogan that “teamwork makes the dream work.” She calls herself a “working manager” and regularly works in the kitchen alongside her staff.

In her menu planning, Choleva emphasizes fresh and local foods. “We have lots of local farmers and we purchase as much local and sustainable foods as possible,” she said, adding that, “I am lucky in southern Vermont to have Food Connects, who works with local farmers to distribute their items. Last year, 38 percent of our food expenses supported local producers.” Grace Cottage has signed the U.S.-Canadian Healthy Food in Healthcare pledge.


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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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  1. Charlea Baker says:

    A couple of years ago my friend was hospitalized for two weeks recovering from an accident. Hospital food has a bad reputation, but his meals were fresh, wholesome and tasty. I purchased some meals so that I could dine with him. (I am still trying with not much success to replicate a scrumptious wasabi salad dressing that I had there.) The Grace Cottage staff in all departments were wonderful, caring and professional. We have a real gem of a hospital in our community. Congratulations Denise Choleva. The recognition and award is well deserved.