From Hell’s Kitchen to Senior Living, Five Star Lands Celeb Chef

From Hell’s Kitchen to senior living, celebrity chef Brad Miller is bringing his foodie talents—and reality TV flair—to Five Star Quality Care (NYSE:FVE).

The chef has joined the national senior living operator full-time to revamp the operator’s cuisine and dining program, including the addition of signature dishes to community menus and hosting chef challenges throughout the year.

Chef Miller is a former contestant on “Hell’s Kitchen,” a reality TV cooking show on Fox, and is now the executive chef at the Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga, Calif. Miller also makes appearances on the Food Network, Fox, and other media programs.

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“My grandmother resides in a senior living community and I have seen firsthand the need to raise the bar for residents,” Chef Brad Miller said in a statement. “I am thrilled to join Five Star, a company that is clearly already committed to creating superior dining experiences.”

Miller will work with Five Star throughout 2014 to create around 40 signature recipes that will be incorporated into community menus. Those recipes will range from “rich fare to special dietary needs options,” the company says.

The goal is to tailor the signature recipes to regional food sources to help ensure quality and fresh ingredients. Miller is known for high-end, eclectic American-style fare that he will translate for a senior living audience, Rob Poyas, vice president of sales and marketing at Five Star, told SHN.

“Each community will have four to five of Brad’s signature recipes on their menus,” says Poyas. “Our regional dining directors are working with local chefs to find out what’s appropriate [for each community]. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes might be great for the Northeast, but Florida might want fish.”

Miller will also cook at and host community events including cooking demonstrations and chef challenges. The first challenge is scheduled for May 6-7 at Five Star Premier Residences in Chevy Chase, Md. Three other events will be held in California, Texas, and Florida throughout the year.

During the chef challenges, Five Star will pull together chefs from surrounding communities to form three teams, each led by a head chef, who will square off against each other in an elimination-style competition. Chefs will be given a basket of ingredients they must use during each round, similar to reality TV shows Chopped and Iron Chef.

Residents, Miller, and Five Star’s CEO Bruce Mackey will judge the contestants. Winning chefs will receive prizes and be publicly recognized throughout the company and on Five Star’s website.

Five Star is also developing a series of monthly culinary events at its communities meant to showcase Miller’s signature dishes. In April, for example, the theme is “Take me out to the ballgame,” coinciding with the start of baseball season.

Communities can choose whether or not to participate in the themes, which also include “Viva Las Vegas,” “Dinner & A Movie,” and a Veterans Day barbecue, according to Poyas.

The Newton, Mass.-headquartered senior living operator stated its commitment to being an industry leader in top-notch dining experiences for residents.

“Dining is a major consideration for seniors and their families when choosing where to live and Five Star’s initiatives are designed to set an unprecedented culinary standard and create even more memorable dining experiences,” said Five Star CEO Mackey in a statement. “We are excited to have Chef Miller join the Five Star team to take our award-winning culinary program to the next level.”

The addition of Chef Miller to Five Star’s culinary team is the latest in other innovations the company has made in recent years. All Five Star communities offer restaurant-style dining, and more than half provide all-day dining rather than set meal hours.

Many communities offer multiple dining venues as well, Five Star notes, such as a formal dining room, a cafe or bistro-style option, and buffet.

The company also provides hotel-style dining and menus in some of its rehabilitation programs and has devised a restaurant-style culinary program for its memory care program that emphasizes choice and independence.

Both these initiatives have been recognized as “Best of the Best” in senior living by the Assisted Living Federation of America’s annual awards, Five Star notes.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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