Chef’s Corner

Pat Caffrey – Thrive Dining Consultant

My culinary career began at home as a child who was always in the kitchen helping mom prepare meals for our family of eight. In third grade, I authored a cookbook, “Gourmet Goodies,” filled with each of my classmate’s favorite recipes. My “professional” career began at age 16 as a dishwasher, then a cook. After high school, I attended chef school in San Francisco and put my cooking skills to work in a variety of venues, including casual restaurants, airline catering, steak and seafood, country club, hotel, hospital, and finally senior living venues. My favorite food service sector is by far senior living, which is why I have been doing this for 24 years. I get a tremendous feeling of joy when I make a meal memorable.

My favorite cuisine is classic comfort food. We try to replicate the feeling in our dining room that I remember growing up, sitting up to the table, enjoying a well cooked meal with enjoyable conversation. I also have a passion for creating ice sculptures. I learned this skill 30 years ago and my chain saw and I have carved our way through 300,000 pounds of ice creating over 1,000 sculptures and counting.

My motto has always been “simple, but elegant”. I am always thrilled to hear the word “wow” when someone tastes our food, admires an ice carving or receives exceptional service. I’ve been honored to receive Watermark’s award for leadership, as well as Director of the Year. I recently competed in a state dessert competition, and my recipe for Peachiladas with Strawberry Salsa earned 3rd place. I welcome you to call to join us for a meal and hope you will say “Wow!” too.

Chef’s Recipes

John Luzader – Dining Services Director

John Luzader, a formally trained chef with 30 years of experience at the finest hotels, resorts, spas and country clubs has found his niche as Dining Services Director for The Fountains at La Cholla. John studied and taught at the Culinary Institute of America in the 1980s and also became a certified Pattissier before specializing in health-conscious cooking, long before it was as popular as it is today. Throughout the 1990s, he worked at the world renowned Canyon Ranch Health Resort and Luxury Spa, working his way up to Executive Chef.

From there, he took another prestigious job with The Greenbrier Resort, supervising a 140-member culinary staff. He returned to Arizona after two years to serve as Banquet Chef and later Executive Chef at the Tournament Players Club (TPC) at the Scottsdale Princess, home of the Phoenix Open. While he was there, the Grille at TPC was named one of the top 12 steakhouses in the country.

Prior to accepting his current position with The Fountains at La Cholla, John was the star chef at both Troon Golf Anthem Country Club and Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club, whose members and guests he served for a decade.

With such a prestigious professional history, it’s no wonder that residents and associates alike are excited to have Chef Luzader on board. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have a leader of his capacity leading our signature dining experience.

Roger Kingsbury – Chef

I have been in food service for more than 22 years, which is approaching half my life. I started a career in aviation technology as an airframe and power plant mechanic. After two years in the business, I decided to change careers and pursue what I really love, and that is cooking. I enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at Pima Community College and received my certification in 1993. After graduating, I went to work for Dakota Café and Catering Co., a local favorite.

I was a catering cook there for two years, and that experience taught me a lot about the preparation of entrées, appetizers, sauces, salads, etc. From there I became the kitchen manager at Rolling Hills Country Club, and worked there for almost three years. I enjoyed my time there, but wanted to manage a larger scale operation.

I became the food service director at Silver Springs in Green Valley, where I received my first experience working for a retirement community. I was their director for three years and really enjoyed working in that environment. I was offered an opportunity to be the executive chef for an Italian restaurant opening in Green Valley. The experience of opening a restaurant was invaluable to my career. Once the restaurant was operating and successful, I began considering going back to work at a retirement community. That is when I came to The Fountains at La Cholla, and I have been here having fun ever since April, 2006 and I’ve loved every minute.