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The man behind the menu

One on one with Executive Chef Bill Moriarty

Created date

April 16th, 2015
lph_0515_recipe_pic-1_web.jpg
lph_0515_recipe_pic-1_web.jpg

Residents, staff, and visitors all rave about the food served at the on-site restaurants at Erickson Living community in Hingham, Mass. 

Many people wonder: Who is the man behind the menus? It’s Executive Chef Bill Moriarty. We caught up with him to tell you all about his background, his cooking style, and we even got him to share one of his favorite recipes so you can try it at home.

Savory experience

Moriarty came to Linden Ponds in 2010, after logging time in some big-name kitchens, including Marriott’s Copley Square Hotel and Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, where he worked as executive chef. 

He studied culinary arts at Quincy Vocational School and graduated in 1988. He also went through Marriott’s management training program and was promoted to sous chef. He managed the kitchen at Marriott’s Champion’s Sports Bar and Gourmeli’s, which is Marriott’s main a la carte and buffet restaurant. 

After leaving Marriott, he worked for nine years with Sodexo before coming to Linden Ponds.

Rising to the top

Moriarty began his career at Linden Ponds as chef de cuisine at the community’s continuing care neighborhood. After three years on the job, he was encouraged to apply for the executive chef position and was promoted in 2013. 

“My personal approach to cooking is ‘keep it simple,’” Moriarty says. “If you start with fresh, high-quality ingredients, use proper technique, and put a lot of love into it, you are going to get great results.”

Moriarty says Linden Ponds residents love his bourbon salmon. “We could serve this simple dish every night and diners would be happy,” he says. 

Another favorite is his Moroccan lamb over couscous. “The residents really love the way the spices blend into the dish and the salty bite of the Kalamata olives,” Moriarty says. 

One of the big differences between cooking at a typical restaurant versus working as executive chef at Linden Ponds is that Moriarty has the opportunity to develop lasting relationships with the people who eat in his restaurants. He says that is his favorite part of his job.

“It’s very gratifying to know that we are providing people with not only great food and service, but comfort in knowing that we are always there for them no matter what—especially after the winter we had in the Northeast,” Moriarty says. “The appreciation that you get walking through the dining rooms and hallways reminds me that I made the right choice coming to work at Linden Ponds.”

Serving up satisfaction

Resident satisfaction is the top priority of Linden Ponds’ dining services staff. Moriarty says his team has open lines of communication with residents. They use comment cards, focus groups, and personal conversations to solicit feedback from residents about the food and their dining experiences. 

“They tell it like it is, and we do our best to act on what we need to and listen carefully for issues that can be resolved right away,” Moriarty says. “2015 has started out very strong for us. The comment cards are overwhelmingly positive, and we are working hard to keep that trend going.”

In addition to the fresh selection of entrées that Moriarty prepares on a nightly basis, he also organizes special holiday buffets and theme dinners, which he says are exciting and well attended. At a recent theme dinner, Moriarty worked with one of his team members who is from Egypt to prepare a fun and authentic Egyptian meal.

“We were able to create a ‘Trip Down the Nile,’” Moriarty says. “A lot of residents got dressed up in Egyptian garb. We had decorations, music, and a belly dancer to shake it up—the residents are still talking about it.”

Personal taste

At home, Moriarty says he and his wife Debbie try to eat healthy meals—a lot of lean protein, kale, quinoa, and brown rice. But he says his favorite indulgence is a New York sirloin steak, cooked rare with sautéed portobello mushrooms, crumbled blue cheese, mashed potatoes, and peas. 

Moriarty’s favorite dish to cook is a hearty chili. A few years ago, his recipe won a local competition on behalf of Linden Ponds. He says he’s so confident in the recipe that he plans to enter an International Chili Society competition. Try his recipe at home, and decide for yourself how good it is.

 


 

Chef Bill’s award-winning chili recipe

Serves 20

Ingredients 

4 lbs ground chuck, 80% lean

1 tbsp canola oil 

12 oz minced onion

2 tbsp minced garlic

3 tbsp ground cumin

3 tbsp dark chili powder

1 tsp chipotle chili powder

5 pts crushed tomatoes

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 c beef broth

½ oz Tabasco sauce

2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

2 lbs canned small red beans (Colorado beans)

1 tbsp cocoa powder

Directions

1. Brown the ground chuck in heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until fully browned. Drain in colander, set aside.

2. Wipe inside of pan and return to heat. Add canola oil, minced onion, and garlic, and sweat for 3 minutes. Add 1/3 of chili powders and cumin. Stir constantly to avoid burning.

3. Add beef broth to pan and stir. Add ground chuck, crushed tomatoes, and second 1/3 of chili powders and cumin. Bring to simmer.

4. Reduce heat to medium. Add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, oregano, salt, cocoa powder, and black pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Drain and rinse beans in colander, and add to pan. Add final 1/3 of cumin and chili powders, and bring back to simmer.

Garnish suggestions: Diced onions, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

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