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Tastiest ticket in town

Greenspring’s 'Evening With the Chef' a five-star event

Created date

August 20th, 2013
Greenspring’s 'Evening With the Chef' a five-star event
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Dining at Greenspring, an Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va., is always a culinary treat. Community members enjoy tasty and nutritious meals at five campus restaurants. Greenspring s dining options are very good, says community member Clint Lambert. My wife Vickie and I have never had a bad meal. Vickie always points out that the food we eat at the community each day is significantly better than the food we prepared at home before moving to Greenspring. In addition to their daily meals, foodies like the Lamberts enjoy the unique opportunity to dine with the community s highly skilled chefs at an up-close-and-personal dining experience known as Evening With the Chef. These intimate gourmet meals are offered four times a year, allowing each chef a turn to put their signature stamp on a thoughtfully prepared and carefully executed themed dinner. It is a special evening for adventurous diners who want to try new dishes and learn more about the food they eat, says Greenspring Executive Chef Michael Ritt. The food is prepared to the same quality but without the expense of a four- or five-star dining experience, says Clint. Where else can you enjoy alligator tail, curry dishes, sea bass, all locally grown organic [produce and herbs], elegant desserts, and free-flowing wine without leaving home, finding parking, or worrying about driving?

Five-star dining at home

Each Evening With the Chef takes place in the Accotink Room, transformed with white linens tablecloths and candlelight. The dinner is available with wine pairings or without for a modest fee. My husband Wayne and I enjoy the food, wine, service, and the overall experience of a lovely dining-out evening for a very small price, says Jane Ford. The menus are never the same, bringing an air of excitement and anticipation to each event. It is a five-star event where we can dress up a bit and do not have to drive. During the evening, the chef describes in detail how each dish is prepared and facts about its origin or ethnicity. For those enjoying the wine pairing, the chef provides background on the grapes and vineyard that produced the bottle. There is usually one dish, sometimes two, which stands out at each event, says John Carle. My favorite experiences have been the times when the items prepared have been chosen as representative of a specific region or country. It is also exciting to hear about and then taste the many different wines offered, says Jane. It is obvious that a lot of knowledge and thought goes into the pairings.

Sharing a meal

Many diners have found that after attending their first Evening With the Chef, they are hooked. After eight years, my husband Kent and I still enjoy Greenspring s Evening With the Chef, says Eileen Long. We enjoy the variety of food served. Our favorite was the French menu. We enjoyed eating wild boar for the first time. We have also been coming for eight years, says Jane. We know most of those who attend and enjoy the opportunity to meet new attendees. It is an event that can be enjoyed by both couples and singles, and that is important to the residents. Community member Jean Davis attends the evenings with her sister Janice, who visits Greenspring specifically for the event. I think the most enjoyable part, second to the wonderful dinner, is the people of our community that continually fill the room with fun and joy, she says. We are able to sign up our little group for a table each time, says Clint. All of us enjoy tasting the wine; talking about the pairings; and discussing the quality, presentation, and taste of the various dishes. It is truly an evening to savor and enjoy with friends.

Time to sizzle

One of the things that makes the Evening With the Chef so popular is that it provides community members with the opportunity to see our chefs demonstrate their culinary skills, says Ritt. The diners appreciate the effort. Each chef creates their own style of food giving each dinner its own personality, says Vickie. They select both the foods and the theme for the evening, and prepare an exquisite meal that expresses their individual passion and expertise. John agrees. Each chef brings his own creativity and take on what would be special for him to the diners. The chefs use their creativity for the meal, and we, in turn, reap the reward, adds Jean. The other chefs and I truly enjoy seeing how much our community members enjoy this evening, says Ritt. As you walk the room after the meal, you can really see and hear how much the residents love this function. That really makes it all worthwhile. I always leave these events with a smile on my face, says John.

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