Former Four Seasons Executive Sous Chef Leads Hospitality Team at Harborchase of the Park Cities
DALLAS, TX–HarborChase of the Park Cities, a new community of luxury senior residences, recently opened its doors, and residents enjoy a perfect blend of modern amenities, classic sophistication and first-class dining provided by Director of Hospitality Ke’o Velasquez.
The top chef boasts an impressive resumé, having worked across the country at various restaurants and hotels, including Dallas-based Urbano Café, Hotel ZaZa and most recently the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas.
Velasquez plans to take his 18 years of experience and create dishes that inspire people to eat healthy while infusing flavors that elevate their taste buds. Velasquez specializes in multi-ethnic cuisine stemming from his Hawaiian roots. His diverse menus present dishes with familiar foods, such as a chicken breast or pork chop, while introducing new items for residents to enjoy like jeweled wild rice and apple ginger compote. Velasquez says eating healthy is key at any age, and he incorporates fresh fruits and vegetables into each meal along with herbs grown at the community.
“Food is a major part of our lives, and I am excited to share my passion with the residents at HarborChase of the Park Cities,” said Velasquez. “I have conjured up cuisine for people of all ages, and seniors find intrigue in trying new things. I take that into consideration when I am building our creative menus. We want good healthy eating, which is why we stay away from processed foods and create dishes from scratch. Since dining is such a memorable experience, I ensure each meal is simply delicious.
“When creating dishes for seniors, I also take into consideration their five senses. They tend to change as we get older, so I am always looking to add new textures and smells, as well as bright colors to their plate,” he added. “Food is comforting for people, so when they dine with us, we want them to feel like they are at home. I have launched multiple successful concepts throughout my career, and I am thrilled to work in an environment where I can focus on food flavors and proficiency.”
Velasquez was born and raised in Hawaii. He has an associate degree in Applied Sciences with an emphasis in culinary studies from Hawaii Community College and is a certified dietary manager (CDM). He originally wanted to work in technology, but it was his first job in college at a country club that inspired him to pursue a career in culinary arts. He trained under fantastic chefs and saw how food made a difference in people’s lives.
He went on to prepare delectable dishes around the world, including Australia, his home state of Hawaii and on the U.S.S. Salvor, where he helped the culinary staff improve cooking aboard the ship while en route to Guam. When he returned, he settled in Dallas. He has held the title of executive chef at Ferre, Kitchen 1924, and Classic Residence by Hyatt. His hospitality experience aligns with the high-touch hospitality environment at HarborChase of the Park Cities.
“My career spans nearly two decades, and I feel very comfortable in the atmosphere at HarborChase of the Park Cities,” said Velasquez. “The community is unique in this area and in the industry, and we hold food and dining to a high standard. We value the residents’ taste in food and it shows with the wide range of options we offer at the community.
“Being from Hawaii, I incorporate Hawaiian flare into the meals. For example, one popular dish at the community is roasted lamb chop with garlic herbs and Kona coffee jus. The Kona coffee jus is a little taste of home that adds a unique flavor for residents to enjoy. It brings me great joy to cook and improve the lives of people through food, and I hope the residents see that and appreciate it.”
HarborChase of the Park Cities offers formal, private and casual dining. They have several dining locations in the community, including the Sherry Lane Café, Craddock’s Bar, Signatures Restaurant and the Blue Lacy Grill.
Residents can also reserve private dining rooms for special occasions or dine in the cellar room where residents can store their favorite wines. They have themed nights where residents can enjoy foods such as sushi, tacos and pasta. The community prides itself on providing the highest quality care for seniors with unmatched hospitality and irresistible elegance. When seniors dine at HarborChase of the Park Cities they will get the “Aloha hospitality,” a dining experience like no other.
“The food at HarborChase of the Park Cities is unmatched in the senior living industry,” said Denny Alberts, CEO and chairman of Silverstone Healthcare Company. “When we were hiring for this position we searched for someone who not only knew how to cook delicious food, but someone who understood the nutritional aspect and quality of food. Ke’o has incredible knowledge of the food industry, and his passion for cooking inspires all of us. His menus are creative and offer residents meals on par with a five-star restaurant. We are excited to have such a talented chef leading our hospitality department, and we look forward to tasting the different dishes he whips up.”