This summer a couple and I were invited to stay for lunch after their tour at Summit Place of Eden Prairie. Knowing senior living meal quality has generally risen in recent years I was glad to dine along with them.
Well, the chicken salad we all opted for in the Bistro was not only good, it became the closing point of our discussion as we parted in the parking lot. Fast forward a few months and our client called saying they were leaning toward deciding on Summit Place but had a few key questions. The last of which was “Do you think they’d give me that chicken salad recipe”?
The move decision wasn’t based on lunch alone. However, the yummy quality of the meal and Linda’s friendly table service left a good mark on me and our clients, and quickly become fodder for this salute.
- AMY NELSON, BISTRO CHEF
- LIA RYAN, BISTRO MANAGER
- LINDA MUSOLF, BISTRO SERVER
Summit Place Senior Campus / Silver Crest Senior Communities, Eden Prairie
Despite the limitations of operating a congregate dining program in-house, Summit Place created the opportunity for some menu free-styling with their Bistro. And while this affords freedom from the routine of volume meal planning it requires inspiration. Enter Amy and Lia.
Here’s Amy’s story in her own words.
“I started out as a part time server in Assisted Living about 11 years ago. After a month, the Dining Director approached me and said they were hiring a Bistro Chef and offered me the job. Even though I did not have experience, I accepted. One of our Chefs showed me how to do the cooking. He told me to take pride in my work and I have been cooking in the Bistro ever since.”
After seven or so years in housekeeping Lia made the move the Bistro. That was eight years ago now. A winning team was born when Lia joined Amy and it just works great.
As Lia described it,
“I like the residents and serving all my grandmas and grandpas. Working with Amy makes it work well. We run our own menus and take requests from residents. We’ll even work from their favorite cookbooks!”
Meatloaf, chicken, tuna and egg salad are some of the go-to favorites. There is some special ingredient in their recipes but “It’s a secret!”. Lia did admit to using it at home in her own cooking too.
Together they commented “We’ve done a lot of recipes and have enjoyed lots of compliments. Who doesn’t like good food?! Or hearing ‘I’m so glad you guys are here”.
Libby Jensen, Director of Marketing added “The Bistro team at Summit has a profound impact on our resident satisfaction. They have been here for many years, are friendly, fun and know the residents – their names, what foods they like, “how many scoops” they want on their cones etc. It’s a place residents can go for a home-cooked type meal, feel comfortable and a bit spoiled”.
Together Amy, Lia, and Linda have created the restaurant magic that no culinary school can teach.
Hats off to all of you for putting your hearts into creating a little extra-special space in your community!