This Aging Well page has offered many examples of how residents at Splendido are practicing healthy habits while having fun—from exploring new artistic talents to trying new fitness classes like line dancing or yoga.
Here, we offer a flavorful angle on this all-inclusive community in Tucson for those 55 and better, through the eyes of Splendido’s Executive Chef, Robert Kaslly.
Q: What’s different about the culinary program at Splendido?
A: People might be surprised by how much variety there is in our menus. We are serving up food in five different restaurants here, ranging from formal eating experiences like you’ll find in Tucson’s finest restaurants, to our lounge’s happy hour hors d’oeuvres. And each of our dinner menus is on a five-week rotation—that’s a lot of variety! That makes it fun and challenging for the culinary team. Personally, I enjoy cooking every type of food, so this suits my taste.
We also have an amazing pastry chef (and her amazing assistant) who create five different dessert options for dinner every night. These include a sugar-free option and a gluten-free option. Mary and Henry can get really creative, and residents love it!
Earlier this spring, we started offering “pop-up restaurants” as a fun way to introduce still more options to residents. We started with gourmet burgers in a diner atmosphere, offering that for just three nights, and are planning some others that should be popular.
We love making great food here, as well as making meals an experience and an art.
Q: Do you follow food trends?
A: At Splendido, my team has to stay abreast of the latest trends because a lot of residents are very well traveled, and they are aware of food trends.
But I would say the strongest trends are those that started a while ago—perhaps so long ago that they can no longer be called trends—but they include a focus on eating fresh, seasonal ingredients; shopping organic; and buying local when possible. You can’t go wrong when you use great products, and we like to cook as healthy as possible. For example, we now use all sustainable seafood. We buy all our seafood fresh from Monterey, and our salmon is wild-caught Scottish salmon.
Our mission at Splendido is to create Ways to Age Well, and you Age Well with what you use to fuel your body. So we give residents the healthiest options possible. . . which also happen to be delicious!
Q: How can those of us in Tucson “eat local”?
A: As anyone who’s been to a Tucson-area farmers’ market knows, there are plenty of local food providers, and their products can be very tasty. Splendido sources a lot of our food locally. We get produce, meat, eggs and dairy from farms in Arizona and Southern California, and we get them year-round. We’ve partnered with local providers for organic vegetables including lettuce and sprouts—we’re in a great location for these products.
And in some instances, Splendido shops very local. We grow an herb garden right outside our kitchen, so we can walk out and pick fresh herbs to season our pestos, salsas and pico de gallos, and main dishes. We grow peppers, too. The Sonoran Desert is great for this!
Q: What does a chef eat?
A: I’ve been inspired by our efforts here at Splendido to eat healthier. I try out recipes and new foods—or I should say, foods from new sources—in my personal life that end up in my menus—and vice versa. I eat a lot of whole foods, including grains, fresh fish, and nuts.