HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO (April 12, 12016) -- Hilary Henz knows a thing or two about menu planning. He and his wife Barbara owned and operated a continental restaurant specializing in Swiss cuisine, Chalet Lucerne in Winter Park, CO, for 21 years.
Since moving to Wind Crest, Hilary has lent his experience as a member of the five-member menu planning committee, a relatively new effort by dining services to enhance the dining experience for the community's residents.
The initiative is part of Dining Director Marcus Cordova's commitment to excellence.
"All menu variety has been from resident suggestions," Cordova said at a dining services town hall meeting in March. Variety comes in many forms: first Sundays, theme Thursdays, Wednesday BBQ series, and the menu planning committees.
Other initiatives include the opening of the High Line Marketplace in The Highline Overlook residence building and new menu items at Blue Sky Bistro located in McHenry's Crossing residence building.
Chef Manny Colin says they have been striving to make more menu items from scratch as well. "It's fresher, and we can work around supplier issues," he says.
For example, he describes the cooking method for barbecue pulled pork served after the dining services town hall meeting. Instead of ordering pre-made carnitas, which have been inconsistent and expensive, they braised a pork butt the day before and allowed it to slowly cook. The day of the meeting, they braised it again with barbecue sauce and pulled the tender meat into thin, uneven strips.
Residents who attended the meeting could also sample from four other food stations, including one with miniature Maryland crab cakes and seared sliced ribeye, one with refreshing peach-mango smoothies, one with fresh fruit and cheese, and for dessert, bananas foster.