A Taste of Willow Valley Communities
From Our Kitchen to Yours
We’re honored to have an award-winning culinary program at Willow Valley Communities. Together, our amazing team of chefs create unique and delicious senior living dining menus for our campus’ 12 culinary venues. We’re excited to share some of those great dishes with you.
Featured Chef: Chef Josh Manny
Featured Recipe: Prince Edward Island (PEI) Mussels with Tomato and Fennel
About Chef Josh:
Chef Joshua Manny is the executive chef at Local Table, the full-service gourmet restaurant at The Clubhouse at Willow Valley Communities. Chef Josh is expert at creating local, seasonal cuisine and ensuring that the menu stays fresh and exciting. Residents and their guests enjoy fresh and delicious “farm-to- table” creations paired with selections from the full service bar in an elegantly relaxed environment.
Chef Josh admits he fell into cooking by accident. When he was 15 he joked with the owner of a restaurant he was bussing tables at about working in the kitchen. The owner called his bluff and that’s how he started. Josh says he is naturally artistic and cooking is a wonderful way for him to channel that energy.
Chef Josh has been with Willow Valley Communities for 5 years. He received his culinary education at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College. He spent much of his career in Philadelphia with notable stops along the way like Matyson BYOB and Terrain at Styers Garden Café. But he says that he loves the Lancaster food scene, especially the abundance of fresh produce and availability of quality, sustainably raised meats.
About the Recipe: This mussel dish is a great starter or entrée to a holiday meal or weeknight dinner. Serve with crispy bread of your choice to pick up all the delicious broth at the bottom of the bowl!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 oz.
PEI Mussels 20 per plate
PEI - Prince Edward Island
Shaved Fennel 3 oz.
Reserve fronds (the little greens on the top of the fennel) for garnish
Garlic, smashed 1 clove
Dry White Wine 1 cup
Chicken Stock (or broth) 1/2 cup
Canned Tomato, gently crushed by hand 1/2 cup
Butter 1 tbsp.
Chives, finely cut 1 tbsp.
Parmesan Cheese, grated 2 oz.
Salt & Pepper to taste
Begin by heating a large sauté pan (or medium-sized pot) on the stove at medium heat.
Add your oil and immediately add your fennel.
Sweat the fennel in the pan (until slightly translucent) for about a minute.
Add your crushed garlic and continue to cook for another 30 seconds all the while stirring.
Add your dry white wine and reduce slightly (for about a minute).
From there, add your chicken stock and tomatoes.
Cook for a minute more, then add your mussels.
At this point, we want to cover our pot or sauté pan with a lid, gently simmering the mussels in the sauce until they open. This takes about two minutes.
Once your mussels are opened up, turn down your heat to low.
Swirl in your butter until fully incorporated and add your chives.
Taste for salt and season appropriately.
Take your mussels off the heat and plate in a generously sized bowl.
Be sure to pour over all of your sauce!
Sprinkle with your parmesan and for a nice little touch; place small pieces of the fennel fronds on top for an extra pop of anise flavor. Enjoy!
Now It's Your Turn: PEI Mussels
Itching to cook along with Chef Josh? Click the button below to download recipe cards with ingredients and directions for
Chef Josh’s PEI Mussels with tomato and fennel.