Sustainability: Signature Dining

By Margaret Steffens
Dining Services/ Sustainability Committee Member

John Porter, Assistant Director of Dining Services comments about Signature Dining with Margie Steffens, both members of Riderwood Residents Supporting Sustainability (RRSS)

Riderwood residents spend a lot of time in our dining rooms. They enjoy eating, as well as the socialization experience going to the dining room provides. RRSS is curious about how the new plan fits into the goal of the committee.

John, how does Signature Dining fit the sustainability model?

Our Signature Program complements the goals of greater sustainability. We will be cooking based on assumptions with different ingredients needed every day. Each plate will be cooked to order based on the specific request of our resident. This reduces waste, inventory, and allows the use of proper temperatures for extended periods of time. Paper usage will be reduced as well. Vegetarian options will be offered, and the food is made-to-order. This means you can request an entrée without meat if you choose. Currently, we are much more limited in this area.

Everyone wants to eat food that is healthy, tastes good, and is cooked to their liking. How will the new plan differ from the present one?

Currently, we cook in batches leading up to and during service. We serve off the steam table over the course of dinner. Some food holds better than others. Signature Dining allows us to cook food to order from a large menu that stays the same. This means fresher ingredients, prepared for you the way you request, delivered directly to your table. We expect this method will be both sustainable and eco-friendly. Thank you, John, for the work you and your staff have done in putting Signature Dining in place. The residents are looking forward to a healthy and “delicious” experience in the dining rooms of Riderwood.


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