Shellhouse Is in the House (the Ranch House to Be Exact)

This spring LLYC named Singing Hills kitchen veteran, Wylie Shellhouse, as the new LLYC Food Service Manager.

Influenced by her beloved Faith and Food class professor, Wylie adopted the food service philosophy that “food is God’s love made delicious!”—a tenet that shapes all aspects of Wylie’s vision for her new role. (And who couldn’t get excited about that kind of philosophy from our new Food Service Manager?) Wylie explains, “God desires our connectedness to him. Wonderful food—full of variety and beauty—and intentional hospitality are a window into the undeserved, gracious gift and invitation into the relationship God offers us.” A hospitality Christ models well for us throughout the New Testament.

Having grown up as an LLYC camper and served on Work Crew and staff, Wylie is well versed in the history, values, and culture of LLYC. She also brings extensive LLYC kitchen experience where she has served in the Singing Hills kitchen since 2009 in the roles of Cook, Lead Cook, and Ranch House Manager.

From food allergies to more healthful food selections, Wylie’s years in the LLYC kitchen have allowed her time to observe and learn the changing needs of both campers and staff. Wylie believes everyone has a place at the table, no matter their allergy or dietary restriction. It’s not uncommon to run into Wylie perusing the aisles of grocery stores (mainly on her days off in the summer.) What is she doing there? She’s thoughtfully searching for something extra special for each one of her campers with a unique dietary need. Whether it be a dairy free ice cream treat alternative or a tasty gluten free bread, Wylie makes certain there is a great option for every individual.

“We are not operating out of a position of lack,” she said. “Instead we get to do our very best providing abundant care for every single camper and staff.”

Chandler Pruitt, Senior Director of LLYC, said, “Feed the body feed the soul. Wylie embodies that so well. She is a soft-spoken, deep thinker, with the highest standards for quality. She stands with the people she leads and has tremendous passion for her work with the Crew and kitchen support staff.”

For Wylie, it’s not just about serving a healthy vegetable to a camper. It’s got to be one that works well with the main dish and is lovely and colorful with just the right marinade to enhance its flavor.

Echo Valley Director, Karla Heath agreed, “Wylie takes a very holistic approach to food service. She creates an experience around food, not just a plate of food put in front of someone.”

Karla is especially excited that Wylie will help share knowledge between camp kitchens. Case in point, when rib-loving Karla learned that Wylie has been serving ribs for years at Singing Hills, Karla was (humorously) outraged and demanded that ribs be served at Echo Valley, too. Karla joked, “not only will this type of menu sharing make me happy, but it will serve everyone well—from campers to the cross-camp kitchen service staffs preparing the meals.”

Wylie plans to spend this first summer in her role learning and observing —especially at Echo Valley—and she already has some fun surprises up her sleeve. What kind of surprises? Let’s just say our LLYC Campers will surely fall in love with a little something Wylie calls Lemon Punch. Wylie admits to unabashedly “stealing” the idea from a restaurant she and husband Grant frequent and love, Saltbox Seafood Joint in Durham, NC. Once they tasted Lemon Punch there, Wylie knew she needed to take this sip of deliciousness back to Texas with her.

Join us in welcoming Wylie Shellhouse to her new role. We are hopeful that this will be the summer of ribs all around … with a side of Lemon Punch!