Friday, July 30, 2010

Kittery Estates Hosts Special Supper Buffet

By Candi Enman
Staff Columnist
Kittery Estates was the place to be for dinner on Thursday, July 15th as residents of the State Road independent senior living community and their invited guests were treated to a very special supper. The event was the result of a Creative Buffet Workshop, one of two held each year for residents of the local community, which is part of the Holiday Retirement system of all-inclusive senior living facilities.
Under the direction of Regional Chef Chris Lyons, Kittery Estates’ resident chef, Christopher Kennard, together with his staff and four other visiting corporate chefs created an eight table buffet that filled the facility’s atrium. The bountiful display featured regional favorites and Italian-inspired recipes, all made from scratch.
“We use fresh, locally grown and harvested foods to prepare the recipes,” said Richmond, VA-based Chef Lyons. The smorgasbord included locally caught, hand-picked steamed Prince Edward Island mussels and fresh haddock skewers, a pasta station with handmade linguine served with Roasted Tomato Marinara sauce, as well as Chicken Parmigiana and a crusty lobster-topped Bruschetta. Locally grown corn on the cob, fruit and cheese platters and salads were prepared with fresh produce from Kittery’s Golden Harvest market.
Holiday Retirement Divisional Chef, George Merritz, explained that the Creative Buffet Workshops and scratch-based cooking programs are unique to their company. Every year one Holiday Retirement regional chef, along with one chef from each region, travel to Hyde Park, New York to attend a cooking program at The Culinary Institute of America. Working with professors in the prestigious cooking school’s kitchens, the chefs learn cooking styles and recipes that they then bring back to share with other corporate chefs as a workshop. “Our program is the only out there and we’re very proud of that,” said Merritz.
With little room left, most of the 150 plus residents and guests who filled the dining room made their way back to the buffet tables for a big finish. Desserts included Fresh Berry Shooters, a delectable concoction of mascarpone cheese layered with fresh blueberries and raspberries, along with Lindt® chocolate truffles and homemade Sweet Potato Pie.
The residents of Kittery Estates were the real beneficiaries of the chef’s training and the workshop. “I ate too much,” said 94-year old Barbara Millar, who sold her Portsmouth home and moved to Kittery Estates in just June of last year. Millar not only delighted in the evening’s dinner, she went on to say how she enjoys her new carefree lifestyle. “It’s wonderful not to have to cook or do dishes. I now spend my days relaxing or doing activities I like, and there’s always someone friendly to talk to here.”
Photo caption: Chef Christopher Kennard serves resident Frank Putnam a Fresh Berry Shooter dessert and server Lola Johnson helps Frank juggle everything. (Courtesy photo)