Q: What led you to the position you now hold at Searstone?
A: I would say that after being a Chef for 20 years in a variety of venues, becoming the Director of Dining here at Searstone was the next step for me professionally. When the opportunity came about, I knew that it was a chance to bring my experiences together. I believe my ability to work well with others, a strong work ethic, and many years of team building experience have helped me along the way.
Q: Where do you get your menu inspiration from?
A: I like to study menus from restaurants that are popular and trendy. This allows me to see what the current trends are, and which ingredients are being used in a creative way. I also enjoy looking at cookbooks, both new and old. The classic, time-tested recipes are comforting and satisfying to the soul. Cooking channels on the television are also fun to watch, and they offer many ideas for cooking techniques, style, and different regional ingredients that I can put my own spin on. I think it is also important to add my own flair to dishes utilizing my favorite ingredients and skills.
Q: In your words, what is it about food and dining that always seems to bring people together?
A: The beauty about food is that although we all need it to sustain life, it varies so much globally and regionally. Food speaks to the heart and can be something very simple that gives us comfort or something rare and complex, with everything one can imagine in between. Dining with friends, family, and even with strangers gives us all the opportunity to slow down the pace of life a bit to enjoy stories, laughter, and each other’s company through conversation. Food has a language in and of itself that can be spoken and understood without words.
Q: What things are important in the resident’s dining experience?
A: I think that the key elements of a good dining experience are universal. Hot, tasty food that is cooked properly, presented attractively, and served with friendly, detailed oriented service in a timely manner are the most important factors in a positive dining experience.
Q: What is your go-to recipe you suggest people try?
A: I have a signature Asian inspired Walnut Shrimp dish that I have loved to serve over the years. This dish has depth with its delicate flavors, textures, and beautiful presentation.