Ventana Taps Briggs For Culinary Director

Dennis Briggs will serve as culinary director for Ventana by Buckner, the first high-rise Life Care Continuing Care senior living community located in Dallas.

A 36-year veteran in culinary management, Briggs began overseeing Ventana’s restaurants and dining venues on July 5.

“After listening to many of our Members and consulting with our advisory team at Thomas Cuisine, we felt Dennis Briggs brought the perfect combination of experience and vision needed at Ventana,” said Danica McGuire, executive director for Ventana.

“Dennis understands the high expectations we have for every aspect of our dining experience, from the preparation in the kitchen to the service at the tables. He has a proven track record raising the culinary execution of every team he has led.”

(Read: Buckner Gives Retirees a Taste of High-Rise Living)

Dennis Briggs

Briggs will collaborate directly with Chef Stephan Pyles to ensure Ventana’s chefs and dining associates execute Pyles’ signature dishes and culinary vision daily. “Chef Pyles is an exceptional resource, and I am looking forward to working with him to ensure the fine dining excellence his name is synonymous with.”

Serving senior adults is something Briggs considers a passion and a privilege. “While I was in college, I worked at a Caribbean restaurant in Washington D.C.,” said Briggs. “At the same time, I cared for my grandparents. I loved them, and I loved the kitchen, so combining these two passions was a perfect fit.”

“Working as the culinary director at Ventana is an amazing opportunity to be part of something special. Ventana is charting a unique path in the senior living industry through elevated experiences across the board for Members, and I believe my experience, knowledge, and unrelenting desire to serve will help achieve exceptional service around the clock.”

Prior to Ventana, Briggs oversaw dining services at Texas senior living communities for 20 years. Most recently, he served as the director of food and nutrition services at Tribute Senior Living in Prosper, Texas, and Grace Presbyterian Village in Dallas. Briggs also worked for Sears Methodist Retirement Services in Austin as the vice president of food and nutrition services.

Briggs is a graduate of Howard University with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a minor in business. He is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and a Certified Dietary Manager.

An immediate goal for Briggs at Ventana is to listen. “I think it’s important for me to come in and enculturate myself to the Ventana experience. I need to get to know the culinary team, and I need to learn the Members’ expectations and desires. I was to hear from them about what we can do to align the culinary program with those thematic desires, and then I will work with Chef Pyles, Thomas Cuisine, and Buckner to implement a plan of action,” said Briggs.

Ventana offers its members the high-rise life with adjacent 12-story towers housing 189 independent apartment homes, including one-, two- and three-bedroom options and ranging from 950 to 2,000 square feet. Ventana also includes the full continuum of care for senior adults with assisted living, nursing care, memory care, and a rehabilitation component.

The community includes underground parking, spacious common areas, modern wellness and fitness centers, a heated indoor pool, salon and spa, movie theater, rooftop garden, multiple patios, and more.

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