July 22, 2022

Arrow Senior Living Thanks and Celebrates Its Culinary Directors

Category: Senior Living

Author: Justin Ladd, Vice President of Operations

Fun Fact: The hat that chefs wear is called a Toque Blanche, which means white hat in French. It is believed that the height of the hat symbolizes the seniority and rank of the chef in the kitchen and the folds in the hat express the qualification of the chef.

Culinary art is the mastery of preparing, cooking, and presenting food. Culinarians, or Chefs, are experts in this field and can be found in hotels and restaurants around the world. The depth of their talent extends far beyond the kitchen. Chefs also have a profound understanding of design, food science, nutrition, and diet.

Culinarians Day, held annually on July 25th, is a day to thank and celebrate the people who impact our experience with food in such meaningful ways. Worldwide, this day is a time to appreciate the art of cooking and is often commemorated with events and competitions. At Arrow Senior Living, we will be honoring our outstanding regional culinary leaders!

John McAninch is our Managing Director of Culinary Operations. John was trained by Disney in customer service, CEAL, and Culinary Arts Pennsylvania Culinary in 1995. He started his career in senior living in 2003, with prior experience including fine dining. John has held several roles within the Arrow: Culinary Director, Senior Living Director, Executive Director, and Regional Director of Operations.

John goes to Dairy Queen every Tuesday to get a treat for his girls. This is something he has been doing for 14 years now, starting when his daughter was one and a half years old. When not working, he enjoys camping, gardening, and being outdoors. The person he would most like to prepare a meal for is Walt Disney. John believes Walt was an amazing visionary on how to brand and create a product that all ages can enjoy.

John’s favorite dish to prepare is pan-seared halibut over wild mushroom risotto, blistered heirloom cherry tomatoes, finished with spiced chili shrimp broth.

Josh Beauchamp is the Regional Director of Culinary Programming. Josh spent time in Germany working in the culinary industry, as well as New Orleans and Florida at The Breakers. He found his way to Arrow via a Culinary Director at The Pointe in Stuart, Florida. He has had the opportunity to cook for three United States Presidents and a German Chancellor.

When not working, Josh enjoys spending time watching soccer, LSU sports, time with family, and listening to the band Phish.

Josh says his favorite dish to prepare depends on who he is cooking for. “I enjoy making someone’s most memorable meal.” That means it all depends on the person.

Alyssa Bruns is one of our Regional Directors of Culinary. Prior to her time at Arrow, Alyssa was the Executive Sous Chef at Russell’s on Macklin, a five-star restaurant serving farm-to-table cuisine.

She is the mother of three-year-old twins. When not working, Alyssa enjoys spending time with her wife and twins at the park and pool. She also works out six or seven days a week and values that time.

Alyssa says she would most enjoy fixing a meal for Cat Cora, the first female Iron Chef. Cat owns five restaurants and is considered a trailblazer by many. Alyssa’s dream is to cook a Mediterranean dish with her. Making risotto brings Alyssa to her happy place! She says the more love you put into the dish the better it is.

Brian Albrecht is also a Regional Director of Culinary. Brian started with our culinary department at Kentridge Senior Living in 2007 and transitioned to Regional Director of Culinary in 2020. Prior to working with Kentridge he worked at Nick Anthe Restaurant. 

Brian used to own a landscaping business but is now in the risky business of teaching his daughter to drive. When not working he enjoys spending time with his wife, son, and daughter. Brian and his family frequently travel with his son’s baseball team. He also enjoys grilling with his family. 

Lastly, we have our Regional Director of Culinary Compliance, Humberto Barraza. In 1981, Humberto started with fine dining in California. All dishes were made from scratch, meat was cut, and seafood came in bulk; everything was made fresh daily. After ten years, he moved into the Executive Chef role with the Sheraton Hotel chain, in charge of banquets. Humberto started working in senior living about 30 years ago, with Arrow 12+ years ago. He loves working with seniors to develop relationships. 

His passion for everything is easily recognizable. When not working, Humberto loves to go dancing with his wife and spend time with his family while enjoying his downtime.

He would love to have the opportunity to prepare a meal for Tina Turner. She is his favorite singer. Humberto loves to cook everything, but filet mignon Oscar is his favorite.

We could not do what we do without this hardworking team! If you want to join in the Culinarian Day fun, you can toast the day with your friends and family by cooking some new recipes! Embrace the celebration by sharing pictures or video of the recipe and your adventures on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. tagged with #CulinariansDay.

Source: https://happydays365.org/culinarians-day/culinarians-day-july-25/

Saint Charles, Missouri-based Arrow Senior Living manages a collection of communities that offer varying levels of care including independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Each and every senior living community supports residents by focusing on dignity, respect, and quality of life. The programs and amenities offered are selected to provide only the highest standard of quality and comfort.

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Arrow Senior Living serves and employs individuals of all faiths, regardless of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age or handicap, except as limited by state and federal law.