While the hospitality industry has certainly taken its COVID punches, Cura’s senior living kitchens continue to operate within our new normal to ensure that our residents never miss a meal. We see our residents as more than just customers, for us they are a part of the family. Though this crisis-filled year has come with its challenges, it has not dampened our resolve to provide quality service and offer innovative solutions.
Providence Point Executive Chef, Caleb Hicks, is a perfect example of a chef rising to meet the challenge. Selected as a “Chef to Watch” by Food Management Magazine (FM), Chef Caleb spoke to FM during a recent interview, where he discussed everything from how Cura’s dining team served during the pandemic, how they are fueling senior nutrition, traditional and international meals, as well as safe catering during holiday gatherings.
When dining rooms first shut down at the Pittsburgh, PA community that he serves, home food delivery became the only option for delivering meals. However, this didn’t stop Chef Caleb! Working together with Cura Director of Dining Services Cheryl Torre-Rastetter and the Providence Point culinary team, they offered a full selection of menu options. Ms. Torre-Rastetter shares, “we decided to go the extra mile by including word searches and crossword puzzles to their food delivery.”
This was also a difficult time for residents feeling isolated from their families, friends and the rest of the community. To help combat their loneliness, the servers had the idea to draw pictures and write messages on the take-out containers to show the residents that they are loved and missed!
During the holidays, Chef Caleb and the dining team made sure that residents enjoyed traditional celebrations:
Congratulations and thank you for a perfect Thanksgiving Dinner.
Your chef and all the kitchen staff did a wonderful job of making dinner “just like Grandma served.” Since we could not be with our families, we could tell them on our Zoom calls that Providence Point made us feel like we were “traveling over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s House we go.”
Thank you very much. I am indeed grateful.
P.S. Gravy was perfect!
The team also surprised residents with beautifully packaged gift baskets delivered personally to their doorsteps. Residents were delighted with their New Year’s box filled with pinot grigio, fig dip, crostini, a gourmet cupcake, truffles and gourmet salami. Such a wonderful way to engage our residents!
As dining rooms slowly opened, themed meals returned and were popular. Meals like the Viva Italiano, prepared by Chef Caleb with the support of his Sous Chef Malana Falconer were offered. The menu featured Italian stuffed pork tenderloin with wild rice mushroom stuffing topped with an Alfredo chardonnay sauce or prosciutto-wrapped shrimp with fresh mozzarella balls and basil pesto. To accommodate residents who desired a leaner protein, Chef offered a grilled swordfish option with beurre Blanc sauce. Meals were served with salad, sides and a cannoli — of course!
Fueling senior nutrition and nurturing wellbeing with every meal is important at any age, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The team at Providence Point continues to address the many facets of senior wellness (emotional, physical and spiritual) through dining.
Chef Caleb and the team offer several BeWell selections. Cura’s wellness program features nourishing recipes like those rich in fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains! Through Cura’s BeWell program, we make the healthy choice the easy choice! BeWell also offers menu options that meet the specific dietary needs of residents.
For more about Chef Caleb, tune into the interview here!