Ask the Experts: Seniors & AgingSPONSORED CONTENT
Executive Chef, Five Star Premier Residences
8100 Connecticut Ave.
Chevy Chase, MD
How do you keep 300 people with varied tastes happy in an independent living community like Five Star?
When trying to keep 300 people happy I just think “WWGD?” or what would grandma do? My grandma always said to keep it simple and remember that good food comes from the soul. If you care about what you’re doing, whether it’s meatloaf or Lobster Newberg, people will enjoy what you’re serving.
At Five Star, the flexible dining program allows residents to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner on their own schedule. Meals are served restaurant style and the menu offers multiple entrees each day. That means if you’re in the mood for Chilean sea bass, spaghetti and meatballs, a chicken Caesar salad or a Reuben Panini, you have choices. A Dining Services Committee meets monthly. It is comprised of residents who propose new ideas for menu additions or other suggestions.
Customizing dishes is one way to increase satisfaction. We offer low sodium, sugar free, dairy free and gluten free options. As the dining staff gets to know each resident, they can offer suggestions. One thing that never changes are the crab cakes; they are one of my specialties.
What influences have resulted in the creativity you need for this position?
If any of us ate at the same restaurant every night, no matter how great, we would get tired of the food. That’s why keeping things fresh and different is important for our residents. My background gave me a solid start and great creativity. After graduating from Stratford University’s culinary program, I worked with Jose Andres at Jaleo in Bethesda and went on to serve as executive chef at a catering company. That led me to Five Star Premier Residences of Chevy Chase, where I’ve enjoyed being Executive Chef for 10 years.