Commonwealth Senior Living at Radford‘s Dining Services Director is no stranger to the kitchen. Having worked in the restaurant business since the age of 16, Bobby has a wealth of experience preparing world-class meals at some of the best restaurants in Virginia. Last Fall, he was the winner of Commonwealth Senior Living’s 2nd Annual Taste of Home competition with Janice Wensel’s mixed-berry cobbler with ice-cream.
Why did you join Commonwealth Senior Living?
Bob Raymond, Vice-President of Dining Services, was a big influence on my decision. Commonwealth Senior Living really sets the bar when it comes to food. Their Farm to Table, clean-label products initiatives, and others offer our residents the freshest options available anywhere. We also have a robust clean label policy which means if you can’t find it in your pantry then we don’t serve it. We are a scratch kitchen where we build meals using actual ingredients – not packaged dishes. You don’t find that at other senior living providers or even a lot of restaurants.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I was raised by my grandmother who recently passed away. Joining Commonwealth was like getting 60+ new grandparents. They are my family, and I love each and every one of them. It is such an honor to be a part of their lives, and it’s my opportunity to give back to folks who deserve to enjoy themselves. They shouldn’t have to worry about cleaning dishes or preparing good meals; that is my job. I really am blessed to work with our residents. Recently, I was serving a group of residents ice-cream and was joking with them that the only reason they like me is because I serve them ice-cream. They responded with: “We love you anyway, but the ice cream helps.” That is the type of interaction with residents that I love. We really are one big family.
What is your favorite food?
I’m a huge foodie! I love a variety of different things, but I’m definitely a meat and potatoes type of guy which is perfect because so are our residents here at Radford. Creating meals for them that they enjoy puts a smile on my face. This is the most rewarding career I’ve ever had.