Home cookin’: how our chefs infuse local flavor for residents
Food connects us to family, friends and even the areas in which we live. Our Holiday Retirement communities are spread across every corner of the United States, with no two communities the same (thanks to the residents who live there!) and distinctive culture of each area. Food is an important part of this culture, and our exceptional chefs draw inspiration from the local community to infuse delicious flavors into meals for our residents.
We spoke to three chefs in Holiday communities how residents, geography and culture influence their menus. Here’s their culinary creativity:
Tim Dixon, executive chef for Holiday Retirement’s Summerfield Estates in Shreveport, Louisiana, says residents crave one local delicacy more than anything – fried chicken.
“It doesn’t matter when or where - residents always love fried chicken,” said Tim. “They also love the mix of Cajun cuisine and Mexican food we get in the Shreveport community, so we’re always trying to accommodate them.”
Don’t be surprised to find fried chicken and turnip greens, shrimp and grits, or red beans and rice regularly on the menu at Summerfield Estates. Tim is also cognizant of dietary considerations for seniors and limits his use of salt to keep meals tasting delicious without sacrificing local flavor.
Midwest flavors dominate resident requests for Todd Snyder’s cooking at Holiday Retirement’s The Lodge at White Bear in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
“Something I learned right away is that if a meal can have gravy on it, it should,” said Todd. “Many of our residents come from Swedish and German ancestry, so our meals reflect their heritage and the local community. That means lots of meat and potatoes.”
Todd also tries to take advantage of seasonal fruits in the Minnesota area to help residents balance the delicious with the nutritious!
Mexican food is never far from the menu at Holiday Retirement’s Madison Estates in San Antonio, Texas. From breakfast tacos to chimichangas to enchiladas, executive chef Gabriel Valencia incorporates a variety of Mexican cuisine in his meals.
“Food is an important part of someone’s life,” said Gabriel. “We want residents to know that they’ll still get a taste of the local flavor when they move to our community.”
When Cinco de Mayo rolls around at Madison Estates, you can be sure every type of Mexican cuisine on the menu, “San Antonians expect great Mexican food, especially for our big holidays. We do our best to meet their expectations.”
From Cajun country to the heartland, Holiday Retirement works hard to make our communities feel like home for our residents. Get in touch to explore our communities across the country to see if independent senior living is right for you or a loved one.