Serving up seconds: Seasons continues partnership with the Olsons

At Seasons, we understand how important it is to serve quality food that our residents love to eat. To further demonstrate this commitment Seasons launched its partnership with celebrity chef couple Michael and Anna Olson in 2018.

A bit about them

Since 2001 Michael has been a Chef Professor at Niagara College’s Canadian Food & Wine Institute.

Anna, Canada’s baking sweetheart is one of Canada’s most recognizable television chefs. She hosts three shows on the Food Network and is a published author of several bestselling cookbooks and magazines.

Each month in 2018, all Seasons Retirement Communities baked and served a delicious Anna Olson dessert. Twice annually, Michael provided seasonal menus for our Dining Services Managers to create.

“Chef Anna and Michael’s contributions to our menus supports Seasons position that retirement dining should be flavourful, fresh and highly enjoyable,” says Larry Bone, Director of Dining Services at Seasons Retirement Communities. “Some people think retirement food is boring and bland. Partnering with Michael and Anna Olson helps to change this misconception. It also gives our own chefs new inspiration to create delicious dishes for our residents.”

A year in review

We accomplished a great deal during our first year with the Olsons. We hosted two Facebook Live baking demonstrations, and they also took part in the festivities at Seasons Royal Oak Village for the annual family picnic and BBQ this summer and made an appearance at the Seasons Owen Sound Fall Fest Open House.

Of the partnership with Seasons Anna says, “It channels the spirit of my grandmother and the connection I had with her. Our bond was food. Food brings us all together. It is more important than ever that we establish contentment and nutrition around meal time. I love what working with Seasons represents, in terms of bringing me back to my roots.”

Residents have enjoyed everything from homemade apple pies to delicious pineapple upside down cakes.

Q & A

To mark the second year of our partnership we asked Michael and Anna a few questions about their experience with us in 2018:

(SM) Have you learned anything new about the retirement living sector while working with Seasons?

(AO): We’ve learned that creating a sense of community and even family is so important, and we’ve come to recognize that mealtime is a significant occasion to capture this feeling through the flavours and aromas which generate a sense of comfort and familiarity. Food is far more than fuel, and Seasons’ culinary teams strive to achieve this, and we are happy to be a part of this family.

(SM) What was your favourite Seasons event in 2018 and why?

(MO) We love having the opportunity to engage with Seasons’ residents and we truly enjoyed the family BBQ in June at Seasons Royal Oak Village. To see the joy in the residents’ faces, having their own families around, and for us to chat with everyone as we grilled food and handed out butter tarts was really something special (plus the rain held off until the BBQ was over!)

(SM) What are you looking forward to this upcoming year?

(AO) We are looking forward to growing with Seasons and expanding our menus and activities in the coming year. You’ll be seeing some new recipes, but also classic ones and we are particularly excited about connecting with ALL of the Seasons communities through online cooking classes and personal visits.

We look forward to our partnership with the Olson’s in 2019. We have a feeling it’s going to be sweet! Stay tuned for upcoming events and appearances.

To view our past Facebook Live events with Michael and Anna visit: www.facebook.com/seasonsretirement