“Our goal is to improve service and resident and staff satisfaction,” said Kendal at Lexington Culinary Director Judy Kurtz.

Mission well in progress, as positive developments on the dining front continue.

Re-opening the Restaurant

Residents are particularly excited that the restaurant has re-opened on a trial basis (two days per week every other week). This will allow everyone the opportunity to dine there at least once during this period.

Hopes are that the restaurant will be fully open again later this year and that guests will be welcome to join residents again.

For those who’ve already had the chance, like resident and food committee convener Dorothy Schoeneman, dining in the restaurant is a true joy.

“Everyone was anxious to return; the re-opening has been met with great acclaim and enthusiasm,” said Dorothy, who echoes the sentiment of many that the Kendal at Lexington restaurant rivals top local dining establishments.

Great New Hires

Another development in Kendal dining is hiring a new executive chef, Brian Torrence, former owner and operator of three restaurants. According to Judy, Brian’s expertise is especially useful in managing food prices, orders, and portions.

Also new to the culinary team is a beginner cook with a “great attitude,” remarked Judy. “She is drawn to the culinary arts and wants to learn all she can about making great food.”

On the serving side, two sisters who have recently moved to Lexington from Ukraine have joined the Kendal team, buttressing staff support in the dining room, which Judy expects will increase even further in the future.

Alfredo the Robot Does His Part

Alfredo the robot is still a welcome part of the team, literally doing the heavy lifting of plates, trays, and service ware. “Staff is so happy Alfredo is here,” said Dorothy, quipping that the mechanical assistant with the Italian accent has not yet learned to speak Ukrainian.

“Servers have fewer backaches, less sore feet, and go home happier.” Alfredo is so helpful; in fact, it’s possible he may have a mate someday in the Borden and Webster Centers.

Feedback, Health Forward

Broadening the lines of communication about dining at Kendal at Lexington was a recent food committee meeting open for the first time to the entire Kendal community, at which some 80 residents and staff shared valuable feedback and ideas.

Led by Dorothy, the well-attended gathering opened with information from Kendal’s staff nutritionist about the importance of healthy food choices.

“We were encouraged to drink water, not soda, consume healthier portions, and pay attention to food descriptors and how meals are prepared,” Judy said.

Acknowledging that it’s not always easy to make the best decisions with such delectable fare on the menu, said Dorothy, the team makes it possible to be mindful of proper nutrition, choose wisely, and still enjoy wonderful food. “Everyone felt they benefited from attending the meeting and learning how to form better habits.”

Agreed Judy, “Response to the food committee meeting was very positive. People left with a good sense of where things are and where they’re headed.”