Brandon Wilde’s Farm-to-Table Elevated Fare Pleases Every Palate
Scrumptious dairy-free, low-sodium, and lighter options always included for the health conscious, too!
While most seniors need make a reservation at an upscale restaurant for organic, farm-to-table chef-made meals, the lucky residents at Brandon Wilde need only to head to the Life Plan Community’s dining rooms for tender and juicy meats, free-range poultry, flaky locally raised fish, and decadent desserts.
Recent menus created by Brandon Wilde Director of Dining Services Todd Greimel and newly promoted Executive Chef Kenny Bedenbaugh feature smoked sirloin with gorgonzola cream sauce, French-cut pork chops with herbed peaches, chicken Caprese with blush sauce over angel hair pasta, veal Milanese, sausage-stuffed acorn squash, and swordfish with hotel butter.
In addition to this rich fare, dairy-free, low-sodium, and lighter options are offered at every meal. Multiple entrees and sides are offered for each meal, and menus change daily. A selection of two to three soup options is made from scratch, and offered daily, for both lunch and dinner.
Take-out is always an option for those on the go, or who want to enjoy a quiet meal at home.
Meet the Chefs
Director of Dining Services Todd Greimel has a background in hospitality and fine dining, with experience in private clubs, independent restaurants, and the Westin and Sheraton hotels, as both regional traveling chef, and an executive chef. He is a graduate of First Coast Technical College in St. Augustine, Fla., and is also certified teacher and proctor in the ServSafe program (an industry standard for catering and food-service professionals).
Kenny Bedenbaugh, Brandon Wilde’s recently promoted executive chef, has been with Brandon Wilde for 7 years, where he previously served as its sous chef. Bedenbaugh has nearly 25 years of experience in the culinary field, and proudly incorporates French, German, and Austrian influences into his culinary aesthetic at Brandon Wilde. His vast experience started directly after high school, where Bedenbaugh worked his way up from roles as a line cook and sous chef, to the current executive chef position, and have been accented by stints at restaurants across the Augusta area, including T’s Seafood, and Villa Europa. He specializes in lots of “from-scratch cooking” — think delicious cordon bleus and homemade sauces — a treat for senior living residents, as it isn’t offered at most communities.
Brandon Wilde’s offerings have proven to be so irresistible that residents often ask for the recipes, which are kindly shared by Bedenbaugh. Some of the most popular items include grilled-to-perfection filets, traditional Italian lasagna, delicious butternut squash soup, the famous Brandon Wilde meatloaf (with its “secret sauce!” that promises to take you back to your grandmother’s kitchen), and an even more beloved “Steak Diane” sauce that is lauded by residents and employees alike.
The culinary delights don’t stop until you’ve picked up and put down your dessert fork. The Brandon Wilde dessert menu is stellar and features traditional favorites, such as key lime and pecan pies, cheesecake, red velvet cakes, and homemade buttermilk pie — a Southern specialty and resident favorite.
Brandon Wilde’s expansive menu features organic, locally sourced foods. Fresh items are purchased from Senn Brothers Farm, in Columbia, SC., providing a truly farm-to-table experience.
Another feature of the Brandon Wilde dining experience that residents appreciate is its frequent use of the Recteq digital smoker system. The innovative Recteq allows Greimel and Bedenbaugh to smoke turkey, ham, and beef briskets for hours and hours to juicy, fall-off-the-bone perfection! The Recteq’s wood pellets create the distinct hickory, mesquite, and applewood flavors that Brandon Wilde residents appreciate.
According to one resident, “I consider myself to be a very good cook, and I particularly like to smoke meats and BBQ on my own, but there’s no competition – Kenny’s beef brisket is the best I’ve ever tasted!”
A Personalized and Informed Culinary Experience
Each meal at Brandon Wilde is catered to the specific and diverse needs of residents. Bedenbaugh and Greimel take into consideration any likes or dislikes, food allergies, or other general requests from residents. Baked versus fried options are routinely offered, with popular dishes like chicken and fish. All stocks are made on-site, and from scratch, without artificial processes or additives (per Bedenbaugh’s impeccable standards), which allows for only the finest quality ingredients to be used.
New for 2022: a listing of total calories, fat, and other dietary items will be included on the menu each day, allowing health-conscious residents to make informed choices.
Additionally, as a Life Care Services (LCS) community, Brandon Wilde’s executive dining staff truly puts the needs of its residents first and highlights its own “culinary credo.” In other words, dining services at Brandon Wilde are not provided by a third-party vendor. Bedenbaugh and Greimel have full control over menu selection, ingredients, and kitchen logistics, so the team doesn’t have to cut corners in any way.
Hydroponic Garden and Wine Program
An exciting forthcoming feature of the dining experience will be an indoor hydroponic garden. This indoor garden will grow herbs, lettuces, greens, and other home-grown vegetables and spices, on-site. Residents will see what’s growing in-house and in real-time.
A new Wine Program will also be introduced later this year, with multiple options for wine connoisseurs and novice oenophiles alike. The rotating vino offerings will allow residents to choose which wines they would like to incorporate into their daily meals, on-site social events, and visits with family and friends. (Previously guests would bring their own wine, and were charged a corkage fee, which will disappear once the new program begins.)
If you and your family would like to schedule a visit to Brandon Wilde, to tour its expansive 73-acre wooded campus in Evans, Ga., and sample its premier, high-end dining options, please call 706-868-9800, or visit https://www.brandonwilde.com/dining/.