From coronavirus variants to supply chain issues, and the ability to serve our guests in person, dining service operations saw a host of new challenges and more importantly, achievements in 2021!
The food trends of this year are, like any year, were reflective of how Cura teams have innovated and created award-winning recipes within the new foodscape!
To combat food shortages, Cura Regional Chef Dennis Rivera was crowned a top chef during a Waste Nothing “Rescue Recipe” Throwdown competition where he competed against 500 chefs throughout the Elior North America family of brands. Waste Nothing is designed to encourage our operators to become aware of the food waste they produce and then work to reduce, rescue, and redirect it from the landfill! Read more in FoodService Director Magazine!
Chef Dennis dove into creating a high-end three-course meal using leftover oatmeal, Brussels sprouts stalks, carrot peels, past-due milk and other typically trashed ingredients!
Chef was innovative in creating this colorful and tasteful menu that’s easy to make and has great acceptability! The appetizer was a sweet potato bisque with a brunoised apple and carrot spice topped with a crème fresh. For the main course, a tandoori spiced cod was served on a British bread puree, topped with tomato chutney and served with a side of cilantro lime rice. Chef plated with a drizzle of raita sauce which brought the cod presentation to life!
Leftover oatmeal served as the main component for dessert. “I wanted to go out of the box so I created oatmeal doughnuts using leftover raisins which I soaked with alcohol. It really spiced it up,” says Chef Dennis Rivera. Sprinkled with confectionary sugar and cinnamon, these commonly tossed ingredients were transformed into this decadent dessert!
The Rescue Recipe competition not only inspires Cura chefs to cut waste, it also promotes creativity, transforming perfectly good ingredients into new and delicious recipes that are added to our menus!
“Waste Nothing really makes us think differently,” Chef Dennis says, who recently repurposed leftover baked potatoes from a holiday dinner held at The Chesapeake, a LifeSpire community in Newport News, VA. From baked potatoes to potato croquettes, these delicious sides were served with marinara and parmesan cheese! “The croquettes were sold for $4.99 in the café, a nice add-on retail option which sold out with residents! More importantly, Waste Nothing promotes engagement and excitement with culinary staff, inspiring us to create something new,” he adds.
In senior living, specifically, global fare trends, give residents a taste of places they’d like to visit or have been to in the past!
Selected by Food Management Magazine as a Top 10 Menu Trend for 2021, Chef Dennis was also lauded for his award-winning Mediterranean sweet potato chili with coconut cornbread – a dinner special which sold out with residents at Phoebe Berks in Wernersville, PA.
Chef was inspired to create this menu after learning about different food cultures during a recent trip to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Chef Dennis also created a seared quinoa-black bean cake served with a sweet corn relish that residents enjoyed even more!
Special global meals at Cura were also featured in FoodService Director Magazine where cultural foods continue to trend at Cura-managed Urbana Place Senior Living in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Food Service Director Levi Ellingson & his culinary team held an “Arm Chair Travel” event where residents explore different cultures from the comfort of their chairs! A recent promotion featured Brazilian foods where kebobs with steak, sausage, a variety of peppers and fresh pineapple on a bamboo skewer were center of the plate! The residents really enjoyed the event and said the kebobs were the best they ever tasted!
Cura is a dining program that they’ll be talking about, and trends you will be known for!