Delicious food made with love. Not only is this central to almost every celebration, holiday, and family gathering the world over, but for 40 years and counting, it has also been the focus of the talented Sunrise Dining Services teams. Across 270+ communities in the U.S. and Canada, every day is made to feel special thanks in part to gourmet meals that are lovingly prepared by Sunrise chefs to showcase the local flavor and favorites of each region and community and tailored to the preferences and dietary needs of every resident.
As we recognize National Nutrition Month in March, we can think of no better time to highlight Sunrise’s culinary offerings and dining experience. “Dining is about much more than just sustenance; it’s a big part of the Sunrise lifestyle,” said Vice President of Dining and Nutrition Services Caitlin Rogers. “Our residents love mealtime for the delicious food of course, but also because it’s an opportunity to engage, socialize, and build valuable connections with fellow residents and team members.”
Meals are served restaurant style three times a day in beautiful, open dining rooms where our team members use the latest in tableside tablet technology to customize orders and ensure each resident enjoys a personalized dining experience. Sunrise communities also feature bistros where residents can grab a quick bite throughout the day and meet and mingle with friends.
Every Sunrise menu is thoughtfully curated by chefs and culinary professionals who infuse kitchens with energy and passion for food that both tastes great and is packed with nutrition. Menus change seasonally not only to give residents variety throughout the year, but to prepare meals using the freshest local ingredients possible.
The team is also well-versed in the role healthy food plays in overall health and well-being and works closely with nutrition specialists to address the unique needs of senior residents. Every community also offers a variety of options for those on physician-prescribed diets including for diabetes and dysphagia.
Beyond the everyday, the Dining team elevates resident milestones by making cakes for anniversaries and birthdays and going all out on themed meals for each holiday. This includes turkey with all the trimming for Thanksgiving, corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day, and everything in between.
And the Sunrise dining experience isn’t just for residents. “We love to welcome family and friends to dine with us,” said Caitlin. “Weekend brunch at Sunrise has always been a particular favorite of Sunrise residents and their visiting families.” Most communities also have private dining rooms that residents and families can reserve for their own intimate gatherings and celebrations.
While communities are excited that dining rooms are now open, many continue to embrace the personal meal delivery options that were adopted during earlier on in the pandemic. “For a while, we moved from communal dining to delivering resident’s requested meals, snacks, and drinks to their rooms,” said Caitlin. “While residents and team members alike have been thrilled to get back into dining rooms in recent months, many still enjoy the choice of having food delivered to their rooms. We are very happy to offer options that not only suit the dietary needs of our residents, but their preferred dining experience as well.”
As with everything at Sunrise, the dining experience is constantly reviewed and adapted based on resident input. This includes feedback from resident Dining Councils, which meet monthly in most communities. Some communities are currently testing all-day dining options, for example, based on suggestions that came from a Dining Council.
Looking toward the next 40 years and beyond, what residents eat and how they dine will always remain central to the Sunrise experience. “This is such an exciting time to be in the senior care industry, and especially at Sunrise,” said Sunrise Chief Clinical Officer Paul Adams. “We are committed to providing not just the high-quality support and care that our residents want and deserve, but also creating a lifestyle that current and future residents seek. And a highlight of the Sunrise lifestyle is and always will be dining. Great food, after all, is tied to good quality of life, and we’ve made it our mission to champion quality of life for all seniors.”
Visit the Sunrise Signature Dining page for more to include sample menus, recipes, and information on the personalized dining experience.
For inspiration and a ‘taste’ of what Sunrise chefs regularly prepare in communities, check out this favorite - and brain healthy - recipe from Dining Services Coordinator Stephen Worden from Sunrise of Braintree, Mass. Bon Appetit!
Salmon Filet with Sweet Corn, Tomatoes and Basil
Stephen L. Worden
Sunrise of Braintree
4 – 4-ounce salmon filets
½ cup water
½ cup white wine
1 bay leaf
2 thyme sprigs
2 parsley sprigs
Heat the oven to 350° F.
Place the salmon in a baking dish.
Pour the water and wine over the salmon. Sprinkle with the bay, thyme and parsley.
Cover the baking dish tightly with foil.
Place in the oven for 10 -12 minutes or until fish reaches 145° F.
Remove from the oven. Use a spatula to place the salmon on a serving plate. Strain the cooking liquid and set aside.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- ¼ cup white wine
- ¼ cup reserved cooking liquid
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil
While the salmon is cooking, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
Add the shallots. Cook until fragrant and transparent.
Add the corn and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 – 4 minutes, until they start to release their juices.
Add the wine and reserved cooking liquid. Cook until the liquid volume has reduced by half.
Add the cream and butter. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes to thicken.
Stir in the basil. Season to taste.
Serve immediately over the salmon filets.