Serving Special Moments Every Day
When we think of the most special meals that we’ve shared, we often think of the holidays. Boisterous family members gathered around the table. Delicious menus from recipes that have been handed down for generations. Home and hearth. But everyday moments at the table are just as important. Coffee and toast in the morning. Soups and sandwiches for lunch. Easy weeknight suppers. At Holiday Retirement’s Birch Heights in Derry, New Hampshire, Executive Chef Orlo Coots finds fulfillment in the everyday moments he shares with residents.
“The best part of my job is engaging with the residents on a day-to-day basis and knowing that my staff and I are making an impact on their lives,” says Chef Orlo, who will mark his second year at Birch Heights in May.
Every meal brings a sense of satisfaction and connection to Chef Orlo, whether he’s preparing a midday snack or full holiday spread. Each meal with each resident is special. In fact, Chef Orlo is hard-pressed to single out a connection with one particular resident as more special than others because he values each so deeply.
“Every hello and every thank you from a resident is a special bond,” he says.
That isn’t to say that Birch Heights doesn’t serve its fair share of special feasts and themed menus — it certainly does! New Year’s Eve dinner, summer barbeques and special holiday buffets fill the calendar with delicious reasons for residents to get excited.
“Residents like when meal service is changed up,” says Chef Orlo, who recently had the enviable task of assembling a chocolate buffet in celebration of Chocolate Month in February. “They can be nervous about it leading up to the event, but once the meal starts, they are generally receptive and extremely happy about the special meal.”
Chef Orlo has been cooking for the past 36 years and came to Birch Heights with a smorgasbord of culinary experience that included work in small bakeries, cafes and independent restaurants, as well as a large hotel and resort. He even owned and operated a Country Inn.
To Chef Orlo, the people of Birch Heights are more than just residents — they are an extension of his own family.
“I love serving older adults, because many of the residents are the same age as my parents and I relate all of my experiences with the residents as if it were with my mom and dad,” Chef Orlo says.
We serve up something special every day. If you’re considering senior living options, get in touch. Or better yet, join us for a meal!