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Fantastic food, clean kitchens are top of the list for retired California couple

Fantastic food, clean kitchens are top of the list for retired California couple

Typically, when my telephone rings at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon, it’s a bad sign. Sometimes it’s late-breaking news that will hijack the beginning of my weekend, as I’ll be toiling away a lot longer than I anticipated, or someone is ringing me up to either:

complain about a story that has already been published

express reservation about something about to be published

question something I’ve written—that would be my supervisor. So it was with some trepidation that I answered my phone at said time a couple of weeks ago, but I confess I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

That call was how I met Bill. I won’t tell you his last name because he asked me not to, but I can say he had a sweet story to tell.

Last year Bill’s mom and dad, who are 78 and 80 years old, respectively, moved from their home in Santa Clara, Calif., to an assisted-living facility in San Jose. Bill, who is not a member of the food-service industry, was actively involved in helping them choose the location. The couple, who used to own and operate a packaging company, made their move to Vintage Silver Creek in November 2007, and Bill said they have been happy ever since, thanks to one man in particular: Phillip Domantay, the facility’s dining services director.

Bill chose Silver Creek for his parents because he was impressed with the foodservice operation and its cleanliness. He noted the quality of the food was most important to his parents, and after touring Phillip’s kitchen he was convinced he was making the right choice for them.

“We decided on this place because the food was so great,” he said. “My parents—well, these are very picky people. My mother, if we eat in a restaurant, always complains that something is too salty or another thing is too spicy, but this place is phenomenal. Not only is the food unbelievable, the kitchen is spotless. The people who work there are dressed completely in uniform from head to toe and always wear gloves. That was the most important thing I was looking for.”

Bill, who is 57 years old, said he is so impressed with the fare that he plans to retire to Silver Creek some day, too. But for now he just wanted to say thanks to the staff and let Phillip know how grateful he is. On the advice of friends in the foodservice industry, he called Nation’s Restaurant News.

“Phillip doesn’t know I’m doing this and neither do my parents,” Bill said. “I want this to be a surprise. When I ate there with my parents the last time, we clapped for [the staff], but it just wasn’t enough. I wanted to make sure this message was coming from one of the family members of the residents.”

Bill, mission accomplished. And Phillip, congratulations on a job well done.

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