Tribune Print Share Text

Title

Serving up holiday fare for all

From latkes to Yule logs, Ann’s Choice spices it up

Created date

November 22nd, 2011

Those who live at Ann s Choice drive its menu options, says Director of Dining Services Chris Babst. So when holidays roll around and people crave the aromas and flavors of familiar family feasts, that s what the Erickson Living community in Bucks County, Pa., serves up. On the actual day [of a holiday], we have the same holiday menu in all of our dining locations, says Babst. From appetizers to entr es, we offer traditional holiday fare and delicious traditional desserts. For Rosh Hashanah this September, the menu included beef brisket, potato latkes, and apple cake. On Christmas, diners can enjoy turkey with all the trimmings or other premium entr es like prime rib. Desserts might include scrumptious choices like cr me br l e, cheesecake, petit fours, fruitcake, pie with ice cream to dollop on top, and, of course, holiday cookies.

Catering to tastes

Dining services caters gatherings in the private dining rooms at Ann s Choice. Catering Events Manager Lisa Sicilia can organize everything from menus to the china and table linens. Community members Grete Yeadon and Tom McCullough have each catered family gatherings with her help. Grete hosted 15 people at a surprise birthday dinner for her husband, Arnold, last December. I was most pleased with everything, she says. Lisa did everything; I did nothing. For three years, Tom and Doris McCullough have hosted annual mid-December Christmas feasts for 20-some children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. It s very convenient for us, says Tom. All we have to do is walk down the hall and enjoy it with our family. The catering is excellent, the food is wonderful, and the service is top-notch. If we were in our former house, we could never do this without all kinds of outside people.

Flavors to savor

On any given day, the three restaurants at Ann s Choice serve up world-class cuisine for at least 2,000 diners. An executive chef oversees the culinary program and a chef de cuisine oversees each of four main kitchens. A brigade of cooks and kitchen staff, along with more than 350 high school students who serve in the dining venues, provide support. Menus offer as many as eight entr es per restaurant with selections ranging from much-loved comfort foods like meatloaf and pot roast to international fare. Plain fish and chicken breast, tossed salad, and other special diet-friendly foods are always available. Menus at the popular lunchtime bistro Acorn Pub and Banners Caf , which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, list additional savory options. But one item always stays the same. Residents tell us, Don t change the coffee, says Babst, and we never have. The monthly service package includes one meal each day at any on-campus restaurant of choice. With so many options, it s no surprise that few community members ever cook for themselves.

Comments