Almost but not quite ready to move to a senior living community? Check out the dining – it could be your deciding factor! In fact, the dining experience in senior living has been elevated in recent months and years to the point where many communities mirror, and in many ways exceed, their local restaurant counterparts.
And the best communities aren’t doing just dinner well. Instead, all day every day, their chefs showcase their breadth of capabilities. For example, some communities now offer an in-house bar, bistro, café, and formal dining room options. Loren Galt, Director of Culinary Services at The Summit in Hockessin, Delaware says, “We like to do pop-up dining events. It might be a theme that we run for a week or a couple of days, but we don't usually advertise it - it just appears. Earlier this year we did a Crab Shack event where we offered soft-shell crabs and other dishes for a limited time only – a little less than a week, because the soft-shell crabs ran out! Another favorite was our 50s-themed pop-up event. Homemade milkshakes were the biggest hit!”
Need more evidence that communities are stepping up their dining game even further? “We offer classic dishes that residents recognize, but with a twist,” continues Galt. “It might be Chicken Marsala - but it's going to have shiitake mushrooms; it might be a dish with marinara sauce, but we give it a modern touch by making it a pomegranate marinara sauce. The meals and experience have to be sensational enough that residents want to invite family and guests to show off where they’re living, and the menus need to be broad enough for a true intergenerational experience.”
The high standard of dining in communities also encourages new business partnerships. Joe Lowrie, National Director of Culinary Services for Discovery Senior Living in Bonita Springs, FL, says, “We’ve partnered with local coffee roaster Brisk, from the Tampa area. At coffee tastings at each of our communities, our residents choose the coffee flavor profile(s) that they desire, then Brisk roasters roast the coffee on the same day they get our chef’s order, and ship directly to our communities as soon as the next day. We’ve also partnered with Produce Alliance, an alliance of 50+ independently-owned specialty distributors of fresh products, to bring quality fruits and vegetables to our culinary teams to ensure our residents enjoy only the freshest ingredients from local farmers.”
It should come as no surprise then, with house-branded coffee, wine, signature sauces, desserts and more, that communities incite pride among residents who enjoy such an exclusive and individual culinary experience. When you have a private chef cooking for you every day, who needs to cook!
At The Summit, dining is always a special event! For more information or to schedule a tour, please call us at 302-635-9024 to speak with a Senior Lifestyle Counselor, visit us at 5850 Limestone Road Hockessin, DE 19707, or go to www.thesummitretirement.com.