On February 7th, a team of Revera’s culinary professionals took part in the Healthy Hearts CHEF Challenge bringing home the top prize for Best Taste. The cooking competition, which was organized by the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada to coincide with Heart Month, featured a variety of groups from the Senior Living Sector and was styled after popular cooking shows such as “Chopped” or “Iron Chef” with a special ingredient each team had to prepare.
Ian Thomson, Regional Manager of Culinary Services, East, led Revera’s team – though he’s quick to point out it was a full team effort. “We wouldn’t have been successful without the great effort put in by everyone.”
Turkey was the mystery ingredient given to the team who prepared a maple and mustard glazed roasted turkey thigh with sunchoke and parsnip puree, steamed broccolini and a blood orange gastrique (a sweet and sour sauce in layperson’s terms). Their dish was a crowd favourite, and obviously pleased the judges as well.
“Food is all about bringing people together and having those moments when we’re brought back to times with friends and family.”
The victory is validation for Thomson, who started at Revera in November 2017, of the work that is underway to refresh the company’s approach to food. “We’re going to be focusing on a single feature menu that caters to the clientele living in our residences. Above all, we want to make sure that we’re serving our residents what they want to eat, not just what we prepare for them.”
“Food is all about bringing people together and having those moments when we’re brought back to times with friends and family,” says Thomson, who sees food as a powerful tool to evoke nostalgia.
“There are certain items that you always go back to, maybe what your mom used to make. At the end of the day what residents want is comfort food done well.”
The winning Revera team (back left clockwise): Nick Calina, Charles Desjardins, Ian Thomson, Robert Tarca, Tarik Dafla, Rounak Shastri. Not pictured Ivan Brijeski and Kenney Goldman.