CHARLESTON, S.C. (July 31, 2017)— Senior living communities are rarely lauded for their dining programs but with a resident-focused, chef-driven approach to dining, thoughtfully planned menus and a hospitality-minded vision led by Chef Damien Cavicchi, Blake Management Group (BMG) has brought a fine dining experience to South Carolina’s senior housing industry. This vanguard dining program is in place in BMG’s three locations across the state.
“Our approach to dining is hospitality driven which means restaurant style accommodations, gracious service to our residents and trained chefs with restaurant backgrounds,” said Cavicchi, Director of Culinary Operations for BMG. “Food is a regular highlight for many of us throughout our lives, and our approach to dining at The Blake is from a place of not only comfort and enjoyment, but also health.”
Like his colleagues in fine dining establishments, Chef Cavicchi updates menus frequently, incorporating seasonal ingredients and balancing the menu with a mix of signature dishes and specific requests from residents. His challenge is in delivering fresh, flavorful meals that are both familiar yet exciting to BMG’s senior residents. “To maintain the healthy value of our meals without compromising taste, a lot of considerations are made in preparation,” Cavicchi explains. “Cooking techniques are diverse and important to our chefs. We generally prefer to gently cook a fresh vegetable just to the point of bright green tenderness, rather than boil it with pork for hours.”
Cavicchi understands healthy eating can mitigate the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and diabetes. He carefully prepares food to maximize its nutritional value and incorporates “superfoods” proven to have incredible health benefits and likely aid in improved brain function. He notes the importance of recognizing the impact food can have on physical and mental wellbeing.
“Some of our superfood success stories include vegetable salads such as a raw, chopped broccoli salad or salmon curry, loaded with memory-boosting turmeric.”
Chef Cavicchi is passionate about creating menus beneficial to the mind and body that reflect the food experiences residents have enjoyed for most of their lives. South Carolina BMG residents can expect a menu of traditional Southern fare with low-country influences, executed in a healthier way by incorporating local ingredients and dietary science.
Cavicchi is no stranger to the Carolinas. After owning and operating several restaurants of his own, he worked at the esteemed Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C. from 2008 through 2013, leading food and beverage operationsfor Biltmore’s restaurants, while garnering local and national press. Always the advocate of quality, Chef Cavicchi worked to elevate the estate’s culinary offerings through partnerships with Biltmore’s own production gardeners and through relationships with regional purveyors. Residents at The Blake can expect an approach to dining inspired by the thoughtful attention to detail that makes restaurant style dining a joy.
“I was drawn to The Blake because I saw an opportunity to change an industry,” explains Cavicchi. “We are creating a special dining program at BMG and will continue to improve upon it and deliver the best possible experience for our residents.”
BMG intentionally follows a restaurant model when staffing each community’s dining program, an approach unique to the senior housing industry. Each property has dedicated dining employees including servers, a dining room coordinator and executive chef. Many members of BMG’s culinary team have received formal training at culinary school or worked years in fine restaurants. The dining team is provided with ongoing training in order to achieve and maintain the quality level of product and service that one would expect from a great restaurant.
BMG communities typically include several well-appointed dining rooms, in addition to a café and coffee shop featuring signature coffees and grab-and-go options. Communities host seasonal holiday celebrations, cookouts and wine and cheese socials. Hospitality stations feature coffee, pastries, sweets and seasonal fruit. BMG understands the connection between food and socialization, making special efforts to customize dining services and events to best serve their residents.
BMG has three South Carolina senior living communities including The Blake at Woodcreek Farms (TBAWF) located in Northeast Columbia; The Blake at Carnes Crossroads (TBACC) in Summerville, scheduled to open this summer; and The Blake at Edgewater (TBAE) in the Indian Land development just south of Charlotte, N.C., scheduled to open later this year.
Blake Management Group
Blake Management Group is an independently owned senior living operator with communities in the Southeastern United States (Ala., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., S.C., Tenn.). Focusing primarily in assisted living and memory care units and programming, BMG also manages approximately 300 independent living units. BMG’s motto is “A New Tradition in Care,” which encapsulates the company’s desire to be traditional yet modern in the service and amenities brought to seniors and their families. BMG currently has approximately 600 employees and 10 communities. For additional information on BMG, please visit bmgseniorliving.com.
For additional photos, recipes or interviews with Chef Damien Cavicchi, please contact Kristin Allen: 601.622.3447.