Watercrest Lake Nona Executive Chef, Manny Navarro, Wins The Nona Chamber Festival Burger Showdown

VERO BEACH, FL–Manny Navarro, Executive Chef of Watercrest Lake Nona Assisted Living and Memory Care was awarded first place at the First Annual Nona Chamber Festival Burger Showdown. The inaugural event, presented by Lake Nona Regional Chamber of Commerce, was held last month at Valencia College to unite Lake Nona businesses and community members.

As hundreds of attendees enjoyed live music, entertainment and local vendors, Chef Manny of Watercrest Lake Nona skillfully prepared his savory selection for the culinary competition. With eight accomplished contestants in the running, Chef Navarro’s delectable Bacon Jam Slider with smoked Gouda, yellow tomato, arugula and guacamole spread wowed the judges, earning him first place for ‘Most Creative Burger.’

A graduate of Disney’s Culinary Academy, Chef Navarro joined the Watercrest Lake Nona team in December 2015 as Director of Dining Services and head chef delivering fresh, exquisite meals and diverse, seasonal menu selections to residents, guests and family members of Watercrest Lake Nona.

“Dining at a Watercrest community is a culinary experience designed to enliven your senses,” says Marc Vorkapich, Principal and CEO of Watercrest Senior Living Group. “Chef Manny continues to exemplify the Watercrest commitment to excellence by delivering exceptional quality and impeccable attention to detail to provide each resident and guest with an extraordinary dining experience.”

Chef Navarro thoughtfully prepared over 200 of his specialty burgers at the event, serving repeat customers and accommodating special dietary requests such as vegetarian guacamole and smoked gouda sandwiches and low-carb yellow tomato burger salads. To re-create the winning dish, visit Watercrest Senior Living Chef’s Corner page at watercrestseniorliving.com/chefs-corner.html for Chef Manny’s Award-Winning Bacon Jam Slider recipe.

Navarro also placed first at the 10th Annual Senior Living Options Chef’s Competition in Viera last April. His winning entrée of pork tenderloin stuffed with manchego cheese, dried cherries and shiitake mushrooms, alongside butternut squash mash and asparagus lyonnaise delighted the panel of celebrity judges, beating out eleven other competitors.

“Ability is what you are capable of doing, motivation determines what you do, and attitude determines how well you do it,” says Chef Navarro, Director of Dining Services for Watercrest Lake Nona, “We appreciate this opportunity to showcase how the Watercrest experience goes far beyond traditional services in senior living.”

Watercrest Lake Nona offers 56 assisted living and 24 memory care apartments with premium accommodations, exceptional care and resort-style amenities. Watercrest Senior Living is committed to enriching the lives of seniors and offering a comprehensive memory care program specifically designed to engage the senses, expand the mind, and enhance the emotions of residents.