Assistant Director of Dining at Paul’s Run, Chris Ferrigno, enjoys satisfying residents with delicious food and outstanding service. With over 10 years of experience in retirement living, Chris understands the importance of high-quality cuisine and the role it plays in giving residents the best living experience possible.
Chris began his experience in retirement living after earning his degree in hospitality and restaurant management. “I started out in a retirement community working the front end of the dining room, which consists mainly of managing service and the service team members,” he explains. After gaining valuable experience in managing the dining room, Chris desired more time in the kitchen. “That’s when I went to culinary school and earned an additional degree,” he notes.
With a degree from culinary school, Chris then began working as Executive Chef in two retirement communities over the course of four years. “It’s been great to manage both the service aspect of dining and the creation of plates and recipes. It has perfectly prepared me for the position I’m in now,” he reflects.
Finding Paul’s Run
Chris had known Executive Director of Paul’s Run, Bill Hines, for a few years. Bill reached out to Chris with an exciting opportunity, and Chris became Assistant Director of Dining in March of 2021. “The community’s beautiful ambience really made a great first impression. It’s so well-kept,” he says.
Since beginning his culinary experience with Paul’s Run, Chris has enjoyed developing meaningful connections with residents and team members. “Paul’s Run is very team-oriented. There is no ‘I’ in team, and that’s clearly demonstrated within this community. All of my team members are helpful and supportive,” Chris affirms.
Within his role, Chris works alongside Director of Dining, Michael Cohen. Together with the dining team, they create five-star menus with innovative recipes that highlight fresh, local ingredients.
The dining team and I work together to ensure complete satisfaction for our residents regarding food and service. Food plays such a large role in their overall living experience and we want them to have the best experience possible. That is the common goal we are all working towards.Assistant Director of Dining, Chris Ferrigno
Engaging Residents in Menu-Making Decisions
In order to achieve their goal, Chris and the dining team include residents in the menu-making process to ensure they are 100% happy with their meals. “We give residents a survey in which we ask them what they’d like to see on our menu,” Chris explains.
“We want to engage our residents and hear their voices so that they can be a part of our menu creation. It’s great to have them involved in the decisions we make throughout the kitchen,” he adds. As residents and team members work together to create high-quality menus, Chris says they attempt to provide a large variety of seasonal foods that hone in on their team’s cooking skills and techniques.
Additionally, Chris helps manage the dining room’s service team to ensure residents have an overall outstanding dining experience. Chris also collaborates with Paul’s Run’s Community Life department to ensure delicious food accompanies fun activities and events.
Food really drives the residents’ overall living experience. We want to ensure they have the highest quality of service along with outstanding ingredients and recipes.Assistant Director of Dining, Chris Ferrigno
As he satisfies residents’ taste buds, Chris says the most rewarding part of his job is seeing residents enjoy their meals. “It feels great to have residents come up to us and tell us ‘Wow that was such a great dinner.’ It’s also rewarding to work with our residents and know that they helped us create the menus that they’re so thrilled with. They love the food and they are a part of the entire process,” he says.