As a part of my foodservice rotation I had the opportunity to work in a kitchen at Riderwood Village, a retirement community. But this wasn’t just any kitchen; Renaissance Gardens is a specialty kitchen on the campus, catering to the needs of residents in assisted living facilities or skilled nursing facilities. On top of preparing regular meals, they also make meals for residents needing modified textures, such as mechanical ground or chopped, or pureed. My partner and I actually helped prepare a pureed meal consisting of collard greens, corn pudding, and baked chicken. I was surprised to learn the techniques used to obtain the perfect pureed consistency. To puree the chicken, we used broth, water, and cornstarch to make sure it wasn’t too watery or too dry. We even got to sample the pureed meal; it was actually pretty good! I was amazed at how similar the pureed chicken tasted to the regular version.
After sampling, Chef Willie, the Chef de Cuisine in the kitchen, explained to us the upcoming implementation of a puree molding program, which will use food molds to make the pureed foods look more like the original. They’re hopeful that making the pureed foods look more pleasing will increase resident satisfaction when consuming the meal. Chef Willie is extremely motivated and excited about the puree molding program, so I’m sure it’s going to be a hit!
I enjoyed my time in the “RG” kitchen and picked up some useful skills that are going to be very helpful when my partner and I host our theme meal, “Strawberry Patch Brunch,” for residents in the independent living facilities. Stay tuned for details and pictures from that!