By Sean Greenlay, Culinary Specialist at VRS Communities, which owns and operates Lakeside Gardens Seniors Community (Nanaimo)
Someone more eloquent than me once said: “the kitchen is the heart of the home.”
While I have found this to be true everywhere, it is especially true in VRS retirement communities. When you speak to our residents, the conversation will often involve food! We believe this is a direct result of our culinary teams, who strive to make the residents feel excited about dining.
One way our chefs help keep residents excited about their food is by listening. Chefs regularly attend VRS town hall meetings, where they get input on what the residents would like to see and eat. A lot of our residents are very knowledgeable about cooking, and we try to have them share their family recipes (recipes that are sometimes beautifully creative and complex!) so that we can make VRS feel a little more like home.
Another way we keep our meals top notch and creative is by participating in a friendly culinary showdown every month! Chefs present their best dishes, often beautifully and artfully plated, to all VRS staff for judging. Aside from making our staff very hungry, this has also brought our chefs from all over BC and Alberta closer together. They have begun to share recipes, borrow ideas for improving service, and push each other to get better.
Our culinary team brings a wealth of different experiences. We have chefs with decades of hotel experience, some with fine dining experience, and a couple of them have even been featured in local Fusion Festivals. No matter what the experience, one thing is the same; we adhere to one main philosophy: make each dish as if you were serving it to the people you care for the most.
Our chefs take great pride in their work, genuinely care for the well-being and happiness of their communities, and do their best to ensure that your loved ones are happy, healthy and well fed.
Here’s what our residents have to say about our cooking:
“I’ve lived here for seven years, and the food is better than ever.” – Elizabeth
“The chef and the serving staff are unbelievable; they take great care of us.” – Brenda
“The food is always good, especially our summer barbecues.” – Lyle
“The soups and desserts are always great.” – Bruce
“It’s like going out for a fine meal every day!” – Bobby
Discover the difference a supportive housing community like ours will make. Visit lakeside-gardens.ca for more information.