El Castillo – Retirement in New Mexico!

Have you ever considered retirement in Santa Fe, New Mexico…?

Santa Fe was recently chosen by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the top 10 best places to retire across the entire world.

What makes Santa Fe such a special retirement haven? It’s the combination of the history, the weather, and the laid-back lifestyle – including fresh, made- to- order- food provided by Cura at El Castillo.

El Castillo is downtown Santa Fe’s only Life Plan community managed previously by A’viands.  A Life Plan Community is also known as a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) for seniors who want the security of knowing they will receive high-quality health care, if ever needed.

Managed by the current dietary team for 13 years, Sandra Grasdock is the food service director and chef.  She is proud to be supported by innovative and caring individuals who are also passionate about food.  These honors go to Allyson Roulston, assistant food service director and Manny Gonsalez, the community’s baker.

“Our cooking appeals to all taste buds!  Our niche comes in with culture.  Santa Fe has a very vibrant culinary community.   So, we have to be able to compete with the local restaurants to keep our residents eating here!” says Ms. Grasdock.

The team offers creative events – everything from barbecues to culinary competitions.  As the community is small, the culinary team offers an even more personalized dining experience to the residents.  “Our events showcase what we do best and gives our residents opportunities to get to know us!” says Ms. Grasdock.  For example, the culinary team won best cream soup in the Souper Bowl competition and also competed in Albuquerque’s Gingerbread Enchantment where attendees purchased raffle tickets to win the best gingerbread house!  Proceeds benefit the local Meals on Wheels.

A diverse menu accompanies not only special events, but daily dining. Residents can select from an expansive salad bar, made-to-order deli, homemade soups to chicken, steak and even tofu dishes!

And, we can’t forget dessert.  Cherry Chipotle Pie is a favorite among residents!  It’s simply cherry pie with chipotle chilies!

Cherry Chipotle Pie Recipe
6 cups of frozen pitted cherries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp Chipotle puree
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
2 unbaked pie crusts
Bake at 350 degrees for 34-40 minutes