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Culinary Corner, Week of June 12-17

Well summer is in full swing! Sorry about the rain last week, I made some phone calls and got all the rain cancelled for this week so we should be ok. Let's give the Barbecue a second try.

So this is an exciting week, we are welcoming our new Director of Dining, Libby Winters on Tuesday. Libby has an impressive background and will bring a wealth of insight and experience to our Food and Beverage program. Giving thanks a second time to Susan Jackson for holding up the Dining department and Angie Stehlik from our La Jolla community for her help and guidance. What's also exciting is that we are returning to menu service at dinner in the dining room. We have had a lot of new hires in the front of the house, but most of them are untrained, so please be patient and understand that for many of them this is very new.

The beer program is on a bit of a hold right now as they are still working on the brewing area, which means that all my equipment is sort of piled up in a corner in the parking garage. I expect it to be done soon, but this is the kind of construction delay that we are going to have to get used to over the next year or so. As soon as I am able we will get going again-probably a wheat beer for the summer months.

So you've probably noticed that the menus look a bit different. With all the turnover on the department recently, we decided to start doing things a new way rather than relearning the old ways. The content is the same, only the appearance is different. The new style matches what some of our other communities are doing, and is a bit more contemporary. We will see how we like it, and are open to suggestions.

Robot bussing unit

So last week I attended a conference of Senior Living Dining professionals in Atlanta. Lots of cool information about what's happening in the industry and what our colleagues in other Senior Living companies are doing. One of my personal favorites was the robot busser that was helping serve during the refreshment portion. Is it an effective replacement for a human? I doubt it. Was it cool? Yes, definitely. I'm not sure we should get one for Highlands Ranch, but if we did we would need to name it something cool.

They let me speak on a panel, it's probably a mistake to give me a microphone and platform but I did ok and managed to finish on time. Here's a link to an article about it. “‘Luxury is a Feeling’: How Sunrise, Galerie, Vi Take Senior Living Dining Beyond ‘Excellence’.

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