Fun Fact: The hat that chefs wear is called a Toque Blanche, which means white hat in French. It is believed that the height of the hat symbolizes the seniority and rank of the chef in the kitchen and the folds in the hat express the qualification of the chef.
Culinary art is the mastery of preparing, cooking, and presenting food. Culinarians, or Chefs, are experts in this field and can be found in hotels and restaurants around the world. The depth of their talent extends far beyond the kitchen. Chefs also have a profound understanding of design, food science, nutrition, and diet.
Culinarians Day, held annually on July 25th, is a day to thank and celebrate the people who impact our experience with food in such meaningful ways. Worldwide, this day is a time to appreciate the art of cooking and is often commemorated with events and competitions. At The Boulevard Senior Living – St. Charles, we will be honoring our amazing Culinary Director, Shawn Coffel, and their team!
Shawn was educated at The Culinary Institute of America located in Hyde Park, New York. He comes to us with a myriad of experience including working for high-end hotels such as Caesars Palace (Las Vegas) and The Ritz Carlton (St. Louis, Naples, FL, and Key Biscayne, FL).
Shawn has cooked with chefs such as Michael Symon and Wolfgang Puck. He has cooked for celebrities including Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, and Lou Diamond Phillips, as well as musical legends Pink, John Cougar Mellencamp, Lenny Kravitz, and Ozzy Osborne.
When not working, Shawn enjoys his beautiful backyard oasis, of which he is very proud. He also spends time boating on various local lakes.
Shawn says he would have liked to have had the opportunity to cook for the late Paul Bocuse- the pioneer of Culinary Arts. Paul was known for his innovative approach to cuisine.
The signature sweet our Culinary Director prepares for our community is molten chocolate cake drizzled with honey lavender glaze, made with locally sourced honey. Shawn’s favorite dish to make is Vietnamese Pho, a soup dish consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat.
The Meriwether Restaurant at Boulevard St. Charles shines in many ways, starting with our open dining hours and personalized service. Though Shawn has only been a member of the #boulevarddreamteam for about three weeks, he has already made positive, noticeable changes. He takes pride in every dish that leaves the kitchen, and he personally visits tables to gauge resident satisfaction.
Our culinary team has grown since Shawn started at the Boulevard. It is exciting for me, as the Executive Director, to observe the subtle, yet vital changes in behavior of the team. They are working together in such a cohesive manner- a direct result of Shawn’s management style. We could not do what we do at Meriwether’s without this hardworking team!
If you want to join in the Culinarian Day fun, you can toast the day with your friends and family by cooking some new recipes! Embrace the celebration by sharing pictures or video of the recipe and your adventures on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. tagged with #CulinariansDay.