Tribune Print Share Text

Taste of Wind Crest

Heather Leah Huddleston

Created date

March 20th, 2012

Who doesn t like a delicious meal prepared lovingly just for them? That s exactly what members of the Wind Crest priority list enjoyed recently, and what people who live at Wind Crest enjoy every day of their lives. Wind Crest, the Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo., hosted an exclusive event for 108 priority list members, tantalizing everyone s taste buds.

A sampling of the best

For the second year in a row, Wind Crest s dining has ranked best in the nation among all Erickson Living communities. The special culinary event allowed prospective residents to get a true taste of what daily dining is all about on campus. At Erickson Living communities, there is no such thing as institutionalized food. Marcus Cordova, executive chef, has a service background in country clubs and hotels, and it s that kind of dining that he serves up to community members every day. Food is my favorite subject, Cordova says. He not only encourages community members to discuss what they want out of their daily dining experience, he also leads a meal planning committee that gives them a voice in the kitchen. The tasting menu for the Taste of Wind Crest featured three samples of popular dishes: soups, entrees, and desserts. Part of the reason for doing this was to break the stereotype of food offered at retirement communities, says Jason Atwell, director of sales and marketing. Cordova also wanted to showcase the diversity of the menu. We re not just cooking one type of cuisine but all types, Cordova says. In addition, the event also highlighted Wind Crest s talented dining services staff. It s fun to showcase what the dining team is capable of, says Craig Erickson, Wind Crest s executive director. We also want prospective residents to feel comfortable in the community so they can start to see themselves living here, says Kristen King, sales associate.

Stimulating social environment

Food is important. There s a reason why we tend to flock to the kitchen during gatherings. Wind Crest s restaurant serves that purpose it s a place where people gather to laugh and chat as servers bring them exquisite meals. The Taste of Wind Crest event brought people together in the same way. I love this, says Beth Brandenburg, personal moving consultant for Wind Crest, seeing all this interaction means our prospective residents are engaged, just as residents are on a daily basis. Cordova and his staff are always looking for ways to improve the community s dining experience. Recently, he s been training the staff in how to prepare gluten-free food, a more tedious process than anyone may realize. Gluten-free items have to be prepared in a designated gluten-free area. Daily menu choices also provide low sodium, diabetic, even vegetarian options. Cordova doesn t want residents with special dietary needs to have just one choice; he wants them to have as much variety as everyone else.