Oak Non Anderson grew up in small farming community in South Korea. She was a middle child of six brothers and sisters. When Oak Non was a girl she went to school and helped work on the family farm. Her village was nestled in beautiful mountains at the end of a long rough gravel road. Since leaving, the town has been discovered. Oak Non visited in 2013 and found the area recreated with hotels, restaurants and a golf complex. The entrance to a national park is only a mile from her mother's home.
Oak Non's oldest brother owned a restaurant. He inspired her to leave the farm to train as a chef at the prestigious Korea House in Seoul. The Korea House is a government ran complex for entertaining dignitaries and business leaders with the finest in Korean culture. It was one of her early dreams that she and her brother would one day be restaurant owners together. That dream was never fulfilled as Oak Non was presented with a new opportunity.
The management of the Korea House had a cousin who owned a private club in the United States. In 1977, the cousin recruited Oak Non to be the chef for the R-Ri-Rang club in Omaha, Nebraska. There were few Asian restaurant in Omaha in 1977 and the R-Ri-Rang was a popular dining and entertaining spot known for fine food and and a spectacular location in the bluffs overlooking the Missouri river. Oak Non became a United States citizen in 1983.
Oak Non's grandmother advised her that she should work with seniors so that, while being far away in the United States, Oak Non would always have many grandmothers. Following that council, Oak Non worked as the assistant dietary manager for New Castle retirement center and later joined Crown Pointe retirement in 1985.
The building was still under construction when Oak Non accepted the position of dietary manager for Crown Pointe. The ownership of Crown Pointe changed several times but Oak Non's kitchen remained a constant, preparing delicious meals and holiday events for residents and staff. Each year, her children, through their grade school and high school years, would play Christmas music for the residents during the holiday season. Her husband has volunteered for ice cream socials, barbecues and other events.
Oak Non was invited to hold membership in the Capital Senior Living National Dietary Committee. Numerous changes have been made to the menus through the years. However, a menu highlight that has lasted is Oak Non's Fried Chicken. An item of significant pride for Oak Non is that the kitchen is consistently awarded the rating of excellent by health department inspectors. A clean kitchen is one of her top priorities and the kitchen at Crown Pointe reflects that focus.
Related to her passion for cooking, she enjoys gardening. Her yard and home are filled with flowers, a vegetable garden and potted tropical plants. In Oak Non's home it is possible to pick oranges and figs off the tree in the middle of an Omaha winter.
Oak Non is married and enjoys to travel with her husband of 34 years. Her daughter lives in New Orleans and her son lives in Omaha.
As a result of Oak Non's love for great food and through her creative talents, the residents of Crown Pointe enjoy rich and diverse international dining. 2015 will mark Oak Non's 30th anniversary with Crown Pointe Retirement Center. For her, Crown Pointe is family and she wants each resident to feel that the dining room is part of his or her home.