With locations in 26 states, Chefs for Seniors—a program which provides personal chefs to prepare meals for seniors—has expanded into New Haven County.
“It’s primarily for people who could really use the service. That’s where we like to help the most—people in rehab, pediatric care, or those who have trouble getting around,” said Nikki Satin, who launched the New Haven County Chefs for Seniors. “Those golfers though, people who age in place, or try to live that healthy lifestyle; it works for them too. It goes both routes.”
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Satin has an extensive background in food service. In addition, she is Health and Sanitation Safety Awareness-trained and was even involved in running preparatory programs for teaching COVID-19 protocols to culinary teams.
Being a competent cook is only one thing Satin looks for in kitchen hands. She pointed out that Chefs for Seniors is as much about companionship as it is meal prep.
“It’s important to understand what the needs of seniors are, and those needs vary,” she said. “Someone with a memory condition for example, might forget they have food in the fridge, or started on a plate of food that’s been sitting in their living room. We want someone that’s mindful of what specific needs are to seniors. And that’s where we start. You don’t have to be a chef or graduate, but of course, we’re going to look for someone who can efficiently cook, has sanitation training, and knows how to prepare and enjoys cooking good food.”
For elderly citizens looking for help in the kitchen, the first step is a Chefs for Seniors consultation, where dietary restrictions are noted. From there, a menu is established.
Meals are prepared in a client's own kitchen. Afterwards, the cook will clean and sanitize the space and package the meals.
While Chefs for Seniors clients can select meals from a program-provided menu, Satin said "If there’s things they enjoy that they don’t see on the menu, then by all means we’ll have that discussion, and prepare for that too.”
Learn more about Chefs for Seniors at chefsforseniors.com/new-haven-county.