Derek Dunham

The secret to keeping residents engaged in the dining experience is to invigorate and empower your chefs. Here are a few ways that communities around the country are energizing their culinary team:

  1. Holding Food Network-influenced chef competitions where dueling culinarians must use offbeat ingredients or face other tough challenges
  2. Asking chefs to conduct cooking demonstrations, and letting residents taste the results
  3. Adding chef recipes, interviews and demos to their website or newsletter
  4. Sending cooking staff to culinary training or bringing noted chefs in to share their expertise
  5. Having chefs cook dishes, such as omelets or stir fries, out in the dining room
  6. Planning unusual-themed events with menus that go beyond the typical holiday brunch
  7. Changing the menu often — and allowing residents input
  8. Compiling a cookbook of favorite in-house recipes
  9. Celebrating the farm-to-table movement with fresh, locally sourced ingredients
  10. Working creatively with dietary restrictions to offer healthy food with a gourmet flair

How is your community keeping things fresh in the kitchen? Let me know at wlangley@varsitybranding.com.