Food for the Soul
Dana Schiefer, Director of Culinary Services and his team of chefs are the thoughtful masterminds behind some of the most popular recipes at our Parkland Retirement Living campuses and Shannex nursing homes. Working out of our Culinary Centre in Halifax, he is also a passionate advocate for supporting local businesses.
“We prefer to source fruits, vegetables and other products like eggs from local farms whenever we can,” says Dana. “Obviously, this makes sense because we are so close to the valley in Nova Scotia and farms in New Brunswick, but we also know people want to understand where their food comes from, where it’s grown and what’s in it. That’s very important to clients, and it’s important to us.”
Clients also get to weigh in on the menu. At Parkland, suggestions are accepted via comment cards, bi-monthly committee meetings and annual satisfaction surveys. At nursing homes, new items are tested with clients and feedback documented before they are added to the menu.
“At the end of the day, our focus is always on what matters to the clients – and that’s delicious and healthy food made with quality ingredients,” says Dana. “Working with local farmers and suppliers who are running family businesses just like ours helps us deliver on this, because they love the product as much as we do.”
Often, mealtimes for clients are as much about feeding the body as they are about nourishing the soul. Gathering to eat together with fellow clients or family members is something to look forward to, a time to make new friendships and enjoy each others company.
“Everyday clients thank us,” says Dana. “Some of my most memorable moments are around preparing food for special occasions like milestone birthdays when clients and families enjoy time together. We are just happy to be part of it.”
The above story was also featured in our October 2016 issue of Connections. Read more great stories from our corporate publication.