Chef Mark’s Fall Pumpkin Bisque
- 4 bacon strips, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 can pumpkin puree (28 oz)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream (can substitute with 2% milk for less fat)
- 1 cup shredded Gouda cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- Additional shredded Gouda cheese for topping, optional
- In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon; drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Saute onion in drippings until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
- Stir in the broth, pumpkin, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Cool slightly.
- In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. Return all to pan. Stir in cream; heat through. Add cheese; stir until melted. Sprinkle each serving with parsley, bacon and, if desired, additional cheese.
Meet Chef Mark! Discover Five-Star Dining at The Manor
With a strong work ethic and passion for food, Executive Chef of The Manor at York Town, Mark Kissinger, enjoys the endless possibilities that his culinary journey continues to offer. Entering the food industry at a very young age, Mark began his professional experience as a dishwasher at a local country club. “I was about 15 years old and it became my summer job,” Mark recalls.
Working at the country club, Mark learned his way around the kitchen. “I caught on very quickly. I went from dishwashing to working in the pantry and then to working the line as a cook.” With over 30 years of professional experience in fine dining, Mark has grown his culinary career tremendously.
“I’ve been in fine dining all my life. I’ve worked in numerous fine dining restaurants and I’ve been a culinary instructor at La Cordon Bleu as well as the Arizona Culinary Institute.”
Mark says that throughout his many years of experience, the most enjoyable part of his career has been the endless opportunities to learn and grow his culinary skills. “There’s always something new to learn with food. I’m very much interested in food history and food culture. When I was a culinary instructor I really got to enjoy that aspect of it.”
Classically trained by French and Italian chefs, Mark’s interest in a variety of cultures and ingredients continues to thrive. “Just when you think you’ve learned everything, there’s another food and culture to learn. It never gets old and that’s exciting.”
Finding The Manor at York Town…
Throughout years of learning and experimenting with new recipes, Mark’s career in retirement living began at a local community in 2010. After working there for several years, Mark began looking for more opportunities and that’s when he discovered The Manor at York Town. Beginning his role as Executive Chef in 2015, Mark has greatly enjoyed the relationships he’s developed with residents and ensuring they receive an outstanding dining experience every single day.
I really enjoy working at The Manor. The community is close-knit and personable. We all work together and the dining team does everything we can to give residents the highest quality of food and service. Residents here know they’re getting five-star quality cuisine, and that is very important to them.Executive Chef of The Manor at York Town, Mark Kissinger
Discover The Manor’s fine-dining experience! Hear from residents about the community’s outstanding menus and cusine!
Within a close-knit community, The Manor’s team learns each resident’s unique interests and creates a fulfilling environment that suits their individual lifestyles. For Mark, that means creating innovative menus that source fresh, local ingredients and fill residents with excitement to try his latest recipes.
“At The Manor, I can constantly try new things and experiment with menus. The food here never gets boring. We have fresh menus each month and we have four specialty dishes that change every single night. Residents really get a good variety here,” he affirms.
The dining team makes sure to accommodate any special requests from residents including adjustments for any dietary concerns or allergies as well as their likes and dislikes. “If residents don’t like something, or can’t eat something, I’ll make adjustments and use another high-quality ingredient that still tastes great.”
Fresh and Local: Innovating Menus with High-Quality Ingredients
Mark certainly understands the meaning of high-quality. “I spend a lot of time trying to find the best ingredients. We serve fresh and local food here. So, my meats are butchered in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Our chicken is also local and free-range, and our seafood is sustainable from Nova Scotia.”
Residents commend The Manor’s efforts to source local ingredients and they’re always willing to give Mark feedback. “I’ve really gotten to know the residents here. I see them in the hallways and they always stop to talk to me. They’re very appreciative of the food we serve because they know they’re getting high-quality. The food here makes them happy. I know what they like and don’t like, and always consider their comments,” he reflects.
At The Manor, we give 110% every single day to ensure that residents receive the best quality of food and service. They deserve nothing less.
As Chef Mark plans his menus for the fall and winter he looks forward to surprising residents with seasonal ingredients and new dishes. At The Manor, residents can always count on an outstanding dining experience.