Senior living center shifts dining to align with wellness

CARLSBAD, Calif. — Like many senior living organizations that are rethinking dining operations, Kisco Senior Living is adapting its dining model toward a restaurant-style approach. But that’s not all it’s doing.

With the help of its new culinary services leader, Matt Perez, who brings a wealth of experience in restaurants from Hawaii to California and beyond, the company is taking a comprehensive look at dining as it fits into health care and wellness overall; starting at the community level.

And Perez’s eye toward sustainable dining fits with Kisco’s overall mission to make dining an important part of a holistic experience and approach to wellness for its residents.

The dining concept relates to living well, says Brian Grandbouche, team leader for dining services, in flavor as well as culture and regional influences. Giving back is another pillar for Kisco, which promotes green causes and community interaction.

“Globally, we need to be very mindful of how we impact our environment,” Perez says. “That may mean taking a look at the use of styrofoam cups in our communities, supporting local businesses supplying product such as fishmongers, and beef and poultry farmers.”

Toward a more local focus, the company this spring re-examined its food product purchasing processes and established a new partner that has been able to free dining service managers to buy more locally. Rather than its past approach in using a national purveyor, Kisco is now buying more at the local farm level versus nationally.

It is also eliminating waste by contracting with a new product made by Orbio Technologies that turns tap water into a cleaning agent. By refilling bottles of cleaning product rather than buying new ones, the company is cutting down on a substantial amount of plastic waste. But food is central to the initiative, and Perez will assist in leading the charge.


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