There’s a crispness in the air. The leaves are starting to turn bright colours, and mornings are fresh with dew. Autumn is definitely here, and residents at Magnolia Gardens are getting out their cardigans.
Fall is also time for comfort food, and Michael Maciborski, the head chef at Magnolia Gardens and Area Chef for all of Langley, is contemplating the ingredients for an early Fall root vegetable medley. This time, he’s roasting parsnips, turnips and yams, seasoned with fresh herbs and extra virgin olive oil. “My residents are not shy in telling what they want, and so I design our menu plans around their all-time favourite dishes and then introduce something new,” he says. “I like to prepare more interesting dishes and stay away from more run-of-the-mill combinations.”
Michael enjoys collaboration, and, being resident-centred, he does his best to do just this. “We often have residents saying that they aren’t going to try something new, but once they taste it most of them are sold.” A great example: Mulligatawny Soup. Know what it is? It’s an English soup modified after a piquantly-spiced South Asian recipe, richly endowed with meat and vegetables. “We had one resident go online for a definition. He told me afterwards that if he doesn’t know what something is, he uses his computer to look it up.” It was the same with a recent entrée Chicken Piccata, which is a comforting Italian classic made with fresh chicken breast medallions dipped in a mix of egg and parmesan cheese, grilled and served with a light tomato sauce. It simply must be tasted to appreciate.
“I often walk through our dining room to speak with residents about new menu items so that they have a better idea of their choices,” says Michael. “I also get to know them better — I learn about their tastes, and what they really enjoy about the dining experience.”
Residents at Magnolia Gardens love the plush dining room, the view over the gardens and water pond, and they are always complimentary about the food. “They want ‘real food’, and that’s just what we provide,” adds Michael. “We give them the dishes their grandmothers would have made.” If you want the Magnolia Gardens dining experience, book a free lunch tour with Jane Bryce, Area Marketing Manager for Langley at 604 514-1210.