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WLACC welcomes new meal coordinator

Cassandra Smit takes the helm in kitchen

SUBMITTED PHOTO  - Cassandra Smit is the new meal coordinator at the West Linn Adult Community Center. She enjoys working with seniors and food.

After working in the grueling real estate business through 2008 when the economy collapsed, Cassandra Smit was certain she needed a change.

So she posed this question to herself: What do I have a passion for? The answer was ... wine. Sure, she enjoyed drinking it, but she also liked the whole wine industry and culture. So she became a tasting room/wine club manager for Provincial Vineyards in Forest Grove.

It was there she honed her cooking skills at wine club dinners and parties. She attended classes at Portland’s Wine & Spirit Archives and became an accomplished chef and sommelier.

But with three daughters (now aged 19, 15 and 10), the job started to take up too much valuable family time. So when Craig’s List carried an ad for the West Linn Adult Community Center’s meal coordinator job, Smit was smitten.

“I love working with seniors,” she says. “I found myself enjoying the seniors visiting the tasting room at Provincial more than any other group.” Smit sees helping seniors as a way to give back. And she has the right disposition for the work. She laughs easily and gives the impression of being unflappable amidst even the madness a commercial kitchen can generate.

Smit enjoys writing and has a children’s story she hopes to publish one of these days. She also schedules the family vacations, which often take place on cruise ships. Last year, she spent a month touring Spain and Italy on a wine and food cruise. This coming spring, she hopes to cruise in the Caribbean.

Responding to a survey of WLACC seniors, Smit plans to prepare a variety of dishes for our Monday, Wednesday and Friday lunches, with an emphasis on meat. This will disabuse those holding to the notion that the WLACC serves meat only as a condiment.

If you don’t know her yet, introduce yourself to Cassandra Smit. She’s charming, self-effacing, and easy to engage. The WLACC is lucky to have her.

The lunch menu this week features Salisbury steak on Friday, Feb. 19; Cassandra’s Surprise on Monday, Feb. 22; and soup and sandwiches on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Questions? Call Tiffany Carlson at 503-557-4704. We are located at 1180 Rosemont Road, West Linn 97068.