July 21, 2016 // 3:01 PM

Grilling with the Chefs

Written by Scott Miller


On Tuesday, July 20, 2016, starting at 5:30 p.m., 48 residents and future residents experienced a fabulous evening at Garden Spot Village. A canopy of lush green trees shaded the patio by the Gardens Courtyard Gazebo. Black table cloths adorned eight tables set with centerpieces of vibrant fresh vegetables: yellow peppers, red tomatoes, green squash. The sparkling fountain, with its gentle sounds of a waterfall, added a soothing backdrop. Light wisps of smoke drifted off the grill, filling the air with mouthwatering aromas as the steaks, chops, and tuna were grilled to perfection.

“The people at this event appreciate the experience of fine dining,” commented Christy Turner with Sodexo Dining Services. Responsible for orchestrating the dinner, she was one happy hostess; the weather was perfect for outdoor dining and everything had come together beautifully. Everyone was seated and the casual conversation was sprinkled with heartfelt laughter.

Imagine your delight if a cheerful server carefully placed a charred heirloom tomato and grilled eggplant salad atop GSV Aeroponic arugula with a toasted garlic crostini and yuzu-basil vinaigrette in front of you to start. Following that, your choice of grilled fillet medallions with wild mushroom salsa and an Aeroponic demi-glace, marinated double cut prime pork chops with tomato-bacon jam or key lime glazed Ahi tuna with a sweet corn and tomato salad. Each entrée had an accompaniment of local green bean salad with GSV Aeroponic fresh herbs and aged balsamic, fried okra with an Aeroponic herb remoulade and cast iron baked potatoes au gratin. Finally, a dessert of a fresh Peach Melba tart, Garden Spot homemade white chocolate ice cream, and, of course, coffee or hot tea. All served by friendly attentive waiters and waitresses. Anywhere else, a fixed price dinner of this nature would easily cost $75 per person. At Garden Spot Village: $23.95 per person!

Annie and Jim McAbee, who live in a beautiful carriage home, had a marvelous time. “The description of the food and how it was prepared by Chef Mike was superb. It was not only delicious; it was presented and served in a way that was extremely appetizing.  We didn’t have to worry about anything. Our hostess seated us with friends we’ve known for years and with a gentleman that we’d never met before. He was extremely interesting and both Jim and I are looking forward to getting to know him better and developing a closer friendship,” said Annie McAbee. “Everything was delicious and we had a wonderful experience.”

As he placed the tuna on the grill, Chef Mike Pezzillo pointed out, “we get the very best fish and meats, and the Aeroponic vegetables were harvested this afternoon.” Smiling a delighted smile he went on, “This is sushi grade tuna. We sliced some and dipped it in soy sauce a little earlier. It’s really fresh and the flavor is out of this world.”

With excitement in her voice, Christy explained, “This is just the first of a series of themed dining experiences that will take place around campus. Next up is a seafood dinner on August 24th, with another two in September and October. After that comes the holidays and all the parties begin. We go out of our way to make these dining experiences memorable, unique and highly enjoyable.”

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