Residents at United’s Garrison Green community are getting a taste of high-end dining with the arrival of chef Prasad Padte, who specializes in French cuisine. He arrived only a few weeks ago, but already his team’s dishes are getting rave reviews.
Prasad grew up in Bombay, India, where he trained as a chef and earned a degree in Hotel Management. From there he moved to France where he earned a Masters Degree in French cooking. Since then he has worked in Michelin star restaurants in France and the UK, and after moving to Canada with his wife in 2010, at Marriott and Delta hotels, onboard CP Rail trains, and at a conference and retreat centre – all of which required him to put his specialized culinary skills to work.
“My varied experience has given me a well-rounded perspective about what works and what doesn’t,” said Prasad. “While French cuisine bases its recipes on wine, cheese and cream, it’s my view that a gratifying food experience has to be based on simple, healthy ingredients, and presented so it is pleasing to the eye. You can please a lot of people by keeping it simple.”
Dining is an important experience at a United community, so United has always had a flexible dining philosophy – eat what you want, with whom you want and whenever you want. There is no assigned seating and the kitchen is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. While there are certain restrictions during COVID, the overarching philosophy of keeping meals a highlight of the day remains.
“The other night we served coq au vin, which is a traditional, uncomplicated chicken dish prepared with red wine. I want to be sure none of the traditional flavours is overwhelmed by dressing it up with spices. There is no point in serving something if sauces and spices overpower the flavours, so I prefer to keep preparation simple so that all of the delicate flavours come out.”
Older adults often have established preferences, but Prasad says some of the residents have an adventurous streak. “We serve them what they like to eat, but occasionally I’ll offer something a little different. They are open to trying new things, so they often come away with a new appreciation for something they haven’t tried before.”
Tom Calvert sits on the food committee, which advises the chef on meals and provides feedback from residents. “We are impressed with the quality of the food,” said Tom. “There have been some spectacular meals. The sole and salmon dishes have been really good. When serving for more than a hundred people, you can’t always hit a home run, but he’s on the right track and I’m very optimistic that Prasad and his team will continue to deliver the high quality that we have come to expect.”
Prasad’s work is getting rave reviews outside of the community as well. One man, who lives in another older adult community is waiting to move into Garrison Green. He isn’t happy with the food in his current community, so Garrison Green’s active living advisor, Tim Hinton, asked Prasad to prepare a meal for him. Prasad prepared a steak with baked potato, asparagus and dessert. When Tim delivered it, the future resident was overwhelmed and can’t wait for a break in the COVID restrictions to finally move in.
Photos by United Active Living. Videos by Sherana Productions.
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Talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange in-person or virtual tours of our Garrison Green and Fish Creek communities. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help!
To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.
Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.