At American Orchards, we believe that each meal should be an experience – an event to look forward to throughout the day. When you visit our dining services page you will read more about our culinary credos, highlights, and why we believe this is such an important part of a wonderful community. However, today we are honored to highlight the person who makes these culinary experiences a reality and provides our American Orchards Family with nutritional and tasty home-cooked meals – Meet Justin Custer, Dining Director at American Orchards.
Justin has spent the last twenty years in the culinary industry and brings a wealth of experience to the American Orchards Dining Team. Having been trained by Master Chef Timothy Bucci, Justin continues to implement best practices and raise the bar for the culinary experience of our residents and families. From individualized diet plans to daily specialty menus, residents can enjoy culinary options that are freshly prepared, high-quality, healthy, and great tasting!
Beyond Justin’s culinary accolades and achievements, what is most moving is his passion for cooking, which was inspired by his grandparents. From a young age Justin spent time in the kitchen alongside his grandfather and grandmother preparing meals for their family. Justin carries with him fond memories of his grandfather’s love for making soup and his grandmother’s traditional family recipes. It was during these childhood moments that cooking took on a deeper meaning, something that he is truly passionate about.
In an interview, we asked Justin about interacting with residents and how the dining team implements feedback and suggestions for future menus. Additionally, we asked Justin about his favorite part of being Dining Director at American Orchards. Here is what he had to say…
Justin explains that it’s often the simple, home-cooked menu items that are the fan favorites. He and his team take time each day and each week to find out what residents enjoy and what they would like to try in the future. At American Orchards residents’ independence and choice is an important part of the dining experience and helps to keep our residents happy and healthy.
Another key factor in delivering an incredible dining experience is the quality of food and how it is prepared. Justin spends much of his time sourcing fresh, high-quality ingredients and implementing best practices in the kitchen. We had the opportunity to see Justin prepare a pan seared boneless pork chop drizzled with a honey Dijon sauce, served over a bed of wild rice pilaf and sautéed asparagus. Here is the highlight reel!
As usual, Justin’s pan seared pork chops from the video above were delicious and highlight only one of many delightful meals prepared for our residents. We know how important dining truly is for our families and are grateful to have a team that delivers an incredible experience for our American Orchards Family. We want to give a big THANK YOU to Justin for his work, and to his hardworking team. For more information about our dining services, you can visit our dining page here or call us directly at 480-887-0599.