The aroma of sizzling bacon or simmering tomato sauce can instantly transport us to a place of warmth and comfort. Food holds a special place in our lives, evoking emotions and bringing people together. And nobody understands that better than Ken, the talented Executive Chef at Park View.
Ken’s passion for cooking runs deep, influenced by his upbringing. He discovered his love for the culinary arts while observing his mother’s incredible cooking skills at home. Watching her turn basic ingredients into mouthwatering creations ignited his love for cooking.
“My mom was an outstanding, natural cook and could make anything from anything,” Ken says. “She showed me what work ethic means, and how important food is to everyone.”
Ken brings those valuable lessons to Park View, where he’s been impressing residents for more than two years. His mission is clear: to create dining experiences that leave residents craving more. It’s not only about the food, but also about how it makes residents feel.
Creating Nostalgia on a Plate
One particular resident, a retired farmer, holds a fondness for fried eggs. Whenever this resident orders 5-6 fried eggs, Ken takes delight in delivering them personally. This simple act not only brings joy, but also fosters a sense of connection and belonging.
Among the array of delicious dishes Ken prepares, his current favorites are roast beef and herb-baked chicken. These culinary creations fill the hallways and dining rooms with delectable aromas, creating an ambiance of warmth and comfort. It’s the joy of providing residents with meals that evoke nostalgia and satisfaction that makes these dishes truly special.
Hot, Flavorful and Customized Meals
To ensure the utmost satisfaction, Ken focuses on offering choices and actively listening to residents. His diverse menu includes daily features, a soup and sandwich combo and a selection that is always available. He caters to a range of tastes and preferences.
Ken’s unique approach involves serving meals directly from steam wells in dining rooms. This equipment ensures that food stays hot when served. The enticing aromas and personalized service enhance the overall dining experience.
Innovative and Collaborative Dining Experience
At Park View, Ken values resident input and incorporates it into the menu through the Resident Food Council, aptly named “Flavortown.” This collaborative approach actively shapes the menu based on residents’ feedback and suggestions.
One such instance involved a taste test and vote for a redressing recipe. This collaborative approach ensures that residents ‘preferences and desires are met, resulting in an inclusive and customized dining experience.
Mat Bedard, the Administrator at Park View, says Ken has made a world of difference at the community. Ken’s team consists of a number of younger coworkers whom he treats with respect while providing guidance.
Together, they produce an astonishing 10,000 meals every month, serving residents in six different dining rooms. They always ensure that the food is top-notch and delivered on schedule.
“His leadership is equal parts chef, part department director and part dad. Ken’s fabulously witty sense of humor leads people to follow him,” Mat says. “The Park View residents, tenants, participants and staff are fortunate to be on a new culinary legacy with Chef Ken at the helm.”
Finding Fulfillment in Collaboration
Ken finds immense fulfillment in collaborating with the dedicated staff at Park View to care for the residents. The staff’s deep understanding of each resident enables them to anticipate needs and advocate for their well-being. Ken says being a part of a community with an outstanding reputation and makes every day at Park View rewarding.
For those considering a career in the culinary field, Ken offers some valuable advice.
“Have a thick skin and wear good shoes,” Ken says. “Culinary is a tough field when things go wrong, but the organized chaos is a thing of beauty when it works.”
Culinary Delights and Heartfelt Connections
With a deep passion for cooking instilled by his mother, Ken creates dining experiences that go beyond satisfying hunger. His culinary creations evoke emotions, fostering a sense of connection and belonging among the residents.
Ken listens to residents and includes their input in the menu, making each meal personalized and inclusive. His leadership and sense of humor inspire his team, resulting in top-notch meals served with efficiency and care.
We are thrilled to have Ken on the team at Park View.