I am currently in my final rotation (besides one elective week before graduation) at Riderwood Village in Silver Spring, MD. My partner and I are learning all things food service at this non-profit retirement home for six weeks total. Here is a list of some things we’ve done so far (only some- we’ve done so much in only 2.5 weeks):
- Learned about staffing, scheduling, and job descriptions
- Assisted with food prep (chopping vegetables, cooking, etc)
- Performed SWOT analyses
- Observed the process of making pureed foods
- Met with the dining services human resource director, financial director, and executive chefs to discuss their roles
- Interacted with the residents of independent living and assisted living communities
The main thing we’ve been doing, however, is planning out our theme meal. The Riderwood Residents apparently always look forward to the UMD Dietetic Intern-run theme meals that run throughout most of the year, as each pair goes through. Each pair picks a theme to base a luncheon on, and we are responsible for marketing, decorations, menu formulation, budgeting, preparing, and serving the meal.
Our theme meal is on Friday June 10th, and our theme is famous classical composers. Now, I know what you’re thinking…how could that ever work? What does that have to do with food? And as we were brainstorming random theme ideas on the first day, neither Ala nor I thought the classical music theme would actually be the one that we did. However, the executive chef indicated that it might be a good one to work with, so we went for it.
It’s actually coming along really well. We chose certain composers and looked at the region they were from. Our composers are from Russia, Germany, Italy, Poland, France, and Austria, so we have menu selections from those areas of Europe. I happen to be a classically trained pianist which has come in handy! Part of our marketing strategy is playing one of the many pianos featured across Riderwood and telling the residents who come to listen all about our theme meal. They seem very interested! Our meal will be featured in a dining room known as the Potomac Cafe, so named our event Symphony at the Potomac.
I’ll keep you updated as our progress continues!