Food plays an important role at The Gatesworth, which is dedicated to making every meal nutritious, delicious and delightful. Chef Brian Hardy and his team start with fresh, local ingredients and handle all prep work in-house. The menu is based on what’s in season, what’s inspiring and the changing nutritional needs of residents. “People who are very good at what they do listen to their customers and their needs and preferences,” Hardy remarks. “We make it as easy as possible for residents to enjoy healthy, delicious meals on their terms.”
To that end, Chef Hardy and his team haven’t changed their approach amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic—they haven’t needed to. “Our preparations and recipes are health-forward, and they always have been,” Hardy says. “We make an effort to incorporate nutritious ingredients and recipes into our menu every day. COVID-19 hasn’t changed that. We’re taking every available precaution, of course, and placing safety first. But as far as nutrition is concerned, we constantly seek dishes and recipes that are delicious and contribute toward the health and wellness of The Gatesworth community.”
Most recently, Hardy took home the Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award, a sought-after designation nationally awarded to the chef who, per the American Culinary Federation, “exemplifies the highest standard of professionalism through certification, continuing education and training, culinary competitions and community involvement.”
While he’s no doubt top of his field, Chef Hardy remains humble. He’s grateful to The Gatesworth owners for allowing him to “compete and grow.” That list should read “compete, grow and win,” as Brian Hardy has been doing all three of those things with impressive frequency for years.
“He’s an all-star, and he reminds us every day with the incredible food that comes out of the kitchen,” says Carrie Montrey, Executive Director of The Gatesworth. Recently, amidst COVID-19, it’s Chef Hardy’s healthy preparations that have garnered the most attention, despite the fact that they’ve always been part of the menu.
“The healthy dishes are always fresh, and best of all, Chef does all the work and the research,” says resident Carol Max, enjoying a colorful fruit salad. “The taste gives nothing away.”
When spending time around The Gatesworth, it’s apparent that residents enjoy peace of mind, carefree living and a vibrant, active lifestyle. And with Chef Brian Hardy in the kitchen, they’re the inspiration behind some of the finest food in the region. As Montrey remarks, “You can tell Chef Hardy loves his job. You can taste it.”
“It’s like cooking for your family,” Hardy notes. “I take pride in the relationships I’ve formed with our residents. I know their preferences, favorites, dislikes—we’re quite close.” Hardy also relishes the interactivity he experiences and the open dialogue between the kitchen and the dining rooms. “I welcome recipes and suggestions from our residents,” he says. “I’ll never stop learning, and I truly believe you can learn from anyone. It’s the residents who keep me at my best and help me generate new ideas to keep the menu fresh. They’re my inspiration.”