The Great Cornbread Conundrum

October 01, 2016

The following is inspired by a true story, with some embellishments for dramatic effect…

The Setting: A Morrison Community Living dining room at the Lenbrook Community in Atlanta, GA.

The Players:

  • Stephen – the new Dining Services Director for the Lenbrook Community
  • The Food Committee – a group of Lenbrook residents working with Stephen
  • Lenbrook Residents – a community of residents from across the country

The Conundrum: Cornbread

A Little Background:
The basic cornbread conundrum exists on a simple level: sweet or savory, with tastes generally linked to geography. Residents from northern states have a preference for a sweeter cornbread while those from southern states have a taste for a more savory cornbread. However, at Lenbrook, the feud runs even deeper; down to whether or not whole corn kernels should be present in the bread, whether it should be prepared in a cast iron skillet or hotel pan, and how crumbly the final product should be.

The Story:
Though Stephen only began as the Dining Services Director at the Lenbrook Community four months ago, he is all too familiar with the cornbread conundrum. Having previously worked at senior living communities in Alabama and Kentucky, he was aware that controversies were escalating, but they weren’t nearly to the level of Lenbrook. No one really knows the origins, or which side struck first, but it’s lasted at least five years, with debates at all levels…

Upon Stephen’s arrival on the scene, with the conflicts escalating nearly to food fights, the Morrison Community Living team sought a peaceful resolution. They prepared near infinite iterations of cornbread ranging from a Salem Sweet to a South Carolina Savory and everything in between. The committee selected their favorites across every category, and that’s what is currently being served. Known as the Cornbread Compromise of 2016, it’s currently holding the community together.


If you visit Lenbrook now, you’ll find two cornbread offerings, a savory cornbread served in wedges and prepared in a cast iron skillet with just the right crumble ratio and a sweet cornbread cut into squares and prepared on a hotel sheet pan.

Stephen and the Morrison Community Living team are enjoying the armistice, but stirrings are rising around the sweet cornbread lacking the right amount of crumble and a jealousy of the crust found on the savory option. Only time will tell if the 2016 compromise will keep the peace at Lenbrook.