Joseph Marinelli, Executive Chef, oversees five restaurants at Devonshire
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., February 25, 2019 -- Executive Chef Joseph Marinelli recognizes retirement as one of life's greatest phases, and he values helping make it even greater for the 350 people he and his culinary team serve every day at Devonshire at PGA National, an Erickson Living managed retirement community in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
"It's a good time in their life, and I enjoy making it even better by providing an exceptional dining experience and great food," says Marinelli, a graduate of Johnson and Wales University, in Providence, R.I.
An eager and ever-present learner, Marinelli has spent his career mastering different types of food service, which have all prepared him for his current role as executive chef at Devonshire.
After graduation, Marinelli began his culinary career in fine dining, at Trump Plaza's gourmet Italian room, Roberto's. Then, wanting to try his hand at high volume cooking, he took a position with FLIK International preparing breakfast and lunch for Bristol Myers Squibb's 2,000 employees.
There, he learned the ropes of high-volume ordering and menu planning from 1998 to 2002. "I had gourmet, I had high volume, and I was ready to learn the health care side of food service," Marinelli says.
A position became available at Seabrook, an Erickson Living community in Tinton Falls, N.J. While there he trained up and coming chefs, developed menus, collaborated with community members, and learned Erickson's values, structure, and culture. Sixteen years later, he's the longest-tenured chef at Erickson Living now serving Devonshire, which has five restaurants.
"Devonshire's Dining program is unique in that most of our five dining room have menus that change on a five-week cycle. The menus not only reflect old favorites, but Chef Joe Marinelli and the culinary team inject contemporary food trends that compete with many of our local restaurants, keeping our dining rooms current and interesting," says Dining Director Jim Tallman.
To stay current with changing culinary trends, Marinelli eats out frequently, tastes different flavor profiles, and collaborates with his staff "No idea is a bad idea," he says. "We talk and bounce ideas off each other."
He introduces those ideas to community members at Devonshire during Chef Tip with Joe, a bi-monthly event where he makes something new and accompanies it with a specialty cocktail. "If they like it, we run it as a special," he says.
Past Chef Tip with Joe menus include Greek-stuffed French bread; turkey chili with sweet potatoes, corn, black beans, cilantro and sour cream; and langostino stuffed with crab imperial.
"It's a very enjoyable and informative hour watching how Chef Joseph cooks," says Nina Geilich, culinary committee chairperson, Devonshire. "We get to taste everything while enjoying a specialty cocktail made to go with Chef Joe's presentation. It's always a lot of fun with a huge attendance."
She meets weekly with Marinelli and Tallman to share her fellow neighbors' likes and dislikes, requests and suggestions, and to discuss solutions.
Geilich says one of their goals has been to ensure a diverse, varied, quality dining experience. Aside from Chef Tip with Joe, the culinary team hosts a monthly "around the world" dinner, theme nights, and a yearly wine dinner.
"The food is wonderful. We have lovely menus, and it's very much like a fine upscale restaurant," Geilich says. "Chef Joe has really stepped up and addressed all the needs of the community members here at Devonshire."
While Marinelli notes the excellent employee benefits, the matching 401-K, the friendly culture, and values, he says the people are the reason he's stayed with Erickson Living for 16 years.
"I enjoy working with our community members. I like the change and variety, the special requests—it's about making them happy," Marinelli says. "I enjoy cooking, and I enjoy seeing people happy. It's my passion and the only work I've ever done."
About Devonshire at PGA National: Devonshire at PGA National, is one of 20 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living® and is situated on a scenic 28-acre campus on the grounds of prestigious PGA National. The community is located in Palm Beach County and is home to more than 350 community members. Additional information about Devonshire can be found at DevonshirePGA.com.