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New dining experience on the menu

Created date

April 12th, 2016
Brooksby Village Executive Chef Michael Ayers

Executive Chef Michael Ayers and the culinary team at Brooksby in Peabody, Mass., recently rolled out a new Signature Dining program.

Guests at Brooksby’s three sit-down restaurants will notice some changes on the menu.

The Peabody community recently rolled out its Signature Dining program, an initiative designed to reimagine the culinary experience.

“We introduced an all-new, cooked-to-order menu,” says Executive Chef Michael Ayers. “Our emphasis is on serving fresh, hot entrées, prepared as they’re ordered. It’s a move toward a true restaurant experience.”

Brooksby Village is the fourth Erickson Living community to roll out the Signature Dining program. Highland Springs in Dallas, Tex., was the first to implement Signature Dining.

“I spent ten days at Highland Springs when they rolled out the Signature Dining program in August 2014,” says Ayers. “It was helpful to see how they executed the transition and to learn from their best practices.”

Freshly prepared options

The vision of Signature Dining at all Erickson Living communities can be summed up in a single statement from the company’s corporate vision statement:

“Simply put, our goal is fresh, made-to-order, resident-focused menu offerings, executed at the moment of service to deliver an exceptional dining experience.”

Brooksby’s three sit-down restaurants—the Windsor Dining Room, the Harvest Grille, and the Overlook Restaurant—now offer 28 entrée choices. The menu choices will change every few months.

“The petit filet has been very popular,” says Ayers. “We’ve also had a lot of residents order our shrimp dishes, salmon, duck, and beef and broccoli.”

Certain menu offerings are favorite New England dishes.

“We have our Samuel Adams fish and chips,” says Ayers. “The baked haddock is another resident favorite.”

Skills in the kitchen

Ayers graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., before going to work in hotels and country clubs. He joined the culinary team at Brooksby eight years ago.

“Our residents dine with us most evenings, so Brooksby differs from a traditional restaurant because we serve the same guests,” says Ayers. “That means we need to be on point every day.”

Another benefit of the Signature Dining program is the ability to customize each dish to suit a resident’s needs or preferences.

“We offer vegetarian and wheat-free entrées,” says Ayers. “Also, if a guest doesn’t care for an ingredient, we can leave it out. The Signature Dining program gives us that flexibility.”