Food is an important part of our lives. With three meals a day, food sustains us, gives us joy, and provides an occasion to gather with friends. At Resthaven, we know that food is an important aspect of home and building community and are committed to listening to our residents and creating food experiences that are nutritional and pleasurable.
At all our homes, we partner with Creative Dining Services who understand how important a vibrant dining program is to individuals. They use registered dietitians to help navigate special diets. They are experts in senior living dining experiences.
As a central aspect of creating a homelike environment, we view mealtimes as another opportunity to serve and care, always striving for excellence.
In March, we welcomed José Badea-Rodriguez to join us as Dining Services Manager the Care Center. Winner of the 2017 Senior Chef Showdown Competition with a certificate in restaurant management from the National Restaurant Association, Jose brings with him lots of ideas and quality meals.
The energy Jose has already brought to the food service team is palatable when you visit the kitchen. The team is already using some of the menus Jose developed over his career. As they plan future menus, Jose is already incorporating more fresh foods based on resident preferences.
As a cook serving our residents, Jose thinks it is important to listen to what the residents want. “I plan to use food forums to get input from the residents, but I also am just trying to talk to residents when they eat to hear their feedback.”
“This is their home,” he continued. “The dining room and meal times are such important parts of our residents days.”
As a team leader, Jose values collaboration and team work. “I like to work on a team where we can depend on each other so I try jump in and help out with all needs. I like to be hands on and cook when possible.”
At the Boersma Cottage, and soon also in the Janssen Cottage when it opens in May, the menus adapt to the tastes of the residents. With the Green House model, gathering at one table for mealtimes are central to creating a family-like atmosphere.
At the Warm Friend, residents may have a kitchen in their rooms and all the restaurants in downtown Holland at their fingertips, but they still choose to spend time eating in the dining room. Dining director Michelle Skinner knows that there are two important reasons for this, “The food and service are outstanding, and the socialization and companionship experienced in our dining room is priceless!”
She said, “No one likes to eat alone. The comradery and companionship experienced by residents impacts them in a positive way at each meal. The simple joy of sharing a delicious meal with friends on a regular basis is life changing. This happens every day in the Tulip Room!”