, Salem, MA


April 2, 2014

For Brooksby chefs, challenges are the same ... and different


What’s your favorite dish?

“Anything I haven’t tried before,” Ayers said. “... What gets me excited is finding something I’ve never tried, something that I’m not familiar with.” He singled out a Thai sandwich one of the chefs created for Monday’s luncheon.

How do you choose the menus?

“For regular dining, we really count on the residents to tell us what they’re looking for,” Ayers said. Given the wide range of palates represented in a community of 1,900 residents, the requests vary from meat loaf to prime rib, filet, lamb chops and more.

“We have our meat-and-potatoes crew and more of a wine dinner crew ... and people (who) are vegetarians,” he said. Four to five special wine dinners are also offered each year.

Ayers said the menus — each restaurant has its own — are anything but simple. “We change our menus every day. We start from scratch every day and rotate every week ... so at any given time, we have 75 entrees available.”

What’s your biggest challenge?

“Our challenge is making sure it’s consistent,” Ayers said. “... Whereas with a restaurant you might see your clients a few times a month ... we see them every day.”

You can reach John Castelluccio at 978-338-2527, or via Twitter at @SNjcastelluccio.

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