Confessions of Virginia Ohanian

Published in FSD Update

Virginia Ohanian admires her mother, drinks “a ton” of skim milk and wishes she could be a barefoot water skier.

Virginia Ohanian, director of culinary and nutrition services at St. Andrews Estates, in Boca Raton, Fla., admires her mother, drinks “a ton” of skim milk and wishes she could be a barefoot water skier.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

I feel as though I am making a positive difference in the lives of seniors whom I serve. In turn, they enrich my life, and I get paid for it.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

Losing residents, who I consider to be part of my family, when they pass away. 

Q. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

I have cultivated a cohesive, talented, motivated culinary team that continues to amaze and exceeds the expectations of our resident population and their guests almost daily. 

Q. What is the most unusual foodservice/catering request you have ever received?

Doing an entire wedding reception for two of our widowed seniors who met, fell in love and married in our CCRC.

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

To be a barefoot water skier.

Q. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would be less of a perfectionist. I must learn to accept the things that I cannot change and move on. I must remind myself that my best is good enough. 

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Complacency, to lose the passion to achieve greatness in my life.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

I most admire my mother for her unconditional love, kindheartedness, spirituality, warmth and fortitude. She is my hero!

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

People will always find skim milk in my refrigerator. I drink a ton of it. No calcium deficiency here!

Q. What food fad do you wish had never started?

Frozen yogurt. Cleaning the equipment every day was a hassle.

Q. What are your words to live by?

“Live simply. Be grateful.”

Q. What activity is at the top of your bucket list?

To travel more and experience the world. My next vacation destination is Italy.

Q. If you had a time machine what historical event or era would you visit?

I would go back to the Renaissance and wear pretty, long gowns and be an influential leader in society who makes a positive difference in the lives of others.