Changing Culture and Quality Concepts Through Dining Services at Charlesgate
John Ladish, Executive Director, Charlesgate Food Services
As the executive chef for Charlesgate’s nursing center, assisted living community and independent living apartments, and with over 40 years of experience in the long-term care food service industry, I have gained and built upon some great philosophies which enable me to establish and maintain a quality dining services program.
My relationship with food is encompassed in a lifelong service journey that I feel passionate about. There should never be any complacency when it comes to preparing, presenting and serving food. I hold a daily commitment to my administrators, staff, and to those we serve to ensure that the quality of the food set in front of our residents and guests is in line with that of a fine dining establishment. I remind my chefs that for three hours a day, we are not only providing sustenance, but we are providing stimulation of the senses and joy to the heart. For three hours a day, we are better than television and we have our residents’ undivided attention. We can’t afford to take this challenge lightly.
The very idea of cooking with the needs, desires and memories of our residents in mind is rounded out with the concept of the food service culture change in the dining industry. Quite frankly, our customers’ requests, nostalgic cravings, and suggestions are what drives the bus. When you look at it this way, everything becomes simple. When it comes to eating, for most people, choice is one of the most significant factors leading to a satisfying experience. Do you want a variety of delicious foods from which to choose? Is the atmosphere of your dining environment important to you? Would you like to eat at a time that is most suitable for you?
The answer to these questions is an obvious “Yes!” At Charlesgate, these concepts and questions have driven the culture change for our food service. As the executive director, I make sure that these types of choices are limited only by the imagination of our chefs.
At Charlesgate, I am constantly producing a menu with exciting items for our residents and guests. I am always testing menus that are multicultural and our residents’ response to them drives more tweaks and greater improvements every day. I see to it that our chefs are trained and knowledgeable in the preparation of soups, sauces, entrees, and desserts which are the finishing touches of every fine meal. My goal is to have the Charlesgate campus known for the excellent food it serves.
Come and join us for a tour and a meal. Whether you are enjoying our weekly fresh omelet station, or themed desserts such as fresh baked Irish soda breads, or likely the best Italian Zeppoles in Rhode Island, you can be sure that it has my Charlesgate stamp on it.