SALMON Residents Begin their International Travels
SALMON recently launched “Monthly Themed” events—the first theme being SALMON International Series: Italy. The event was a fun and delicious success. The International Series encompasses food, education, and activities for the enjoyment of Residents and staff.
“We decided to start preparing meals from different countries each month to add some excitement to Residents’ days. During the pandemic we have all had to change our lives in one way or another, especially our Residents’, and we thought this would be a fun way to celebrate all the diversity we have in our communities,” says Director of Dining Services, Jason Wallin.
“Food is much more than ingredients—it is what those ingredients represent when they come together, who the people are cooking the recipes, and how those special recipes shape their lives. Food is a celebration of cultures and heritage that our Residents want to explore and share,” says Wallin. “Hopefully having themed meals from different countries will spark conversation among our Residents about their heritage.”
“Each month, Residents in every one of our communities will be steeped in the landscape, history and the language of the chosen country and also experience the themed culinary creations,” noted Clinical Director of Tapestry Program, Diane Tonelli. “We have Residents from so many parts of the world—serving the traditional dishes brings some Residents back to their childhood memories, for example, they remember their mother’s cooking,” said Manager of Dining Services, Tina Litwinetz. “Doing the international meals during COVID-19 while working with Recreation to provide an all-day experience makes it really fun for the Residents and staff who get to work together as a team. Some team members dress up in traditional clothing for the full experience, some design the trays with garnishes, and some decorate to go along with the theme” added Litwinetz.
This program is choreographed by the culinary and the recreation teams in each community. “Creating different meals from countries all over the world allows our cooks and chefs some creativity by cooking with different flavors and ingredients they might never had prior” said Litwinetz. “We have had so much fun collaborating with the culinary teams in all of the communities for these themed menus. Each culinary member had some creative and fun input to make it a great experience for our Residents” noted Wallin.
Our “travelers” will be making memories as they visit these faraway places. Taking home with them a keepsake—a “SALMON Passport” stamped with each month’s country.
On our first SALMON International Series day we explored Italy. “Residents’ spirits were lifted with the food and culture of Italy” observed Resident Engagement Coordinator at Whitney Place at Northborough, Sherry Champlin. Each recreation staff member embraced the theme, ensuring all the Residents engaged in the various levels of the event—there was dancing, singing and plenty of smiles as can be noted in the many photos of the events.
Wallin adds, “We look forward to continuing these meals each month and celebrating our Residents.”