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Learn how a local chef pivoted during COVID-19

It’s no secret the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the hospitality industry. Last year, hotels and resorts were forced to close their doors while restaurants grappled with limited capacity and reduced demand. As a result, many employees were laid off and seasoned restaurant veterans were faced with the choice of waiting it out or trying something new.

After working in prestigious kitchens at The Greenbrier, The Gaylord and Pinehurst and serving as the executive chef at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Fairfax, Obataiye Allen was hired to serve as executive chef at The Providence, a brand-new assisted living and memory care community that opened in March in Fairfax’s MetroWest neighborhood.

Although the clientele may be different, Allen says serving as the executive chef at a senior living community provides an opportunity to develop more meaningful relationships with diners, adapt and customize the menu options to their individual preferences, and redefine assisted-living dining through the lens of high-end hospitality.

Drawing on his experience at luxury resorts and hotels, Executive Chef Obataiye Allen developed special menus for the community’s signature restaurants featuring regionally inspired cuisine and local ingredients. Take a look:

  • The formal restaurant, Great Falls, is reminiscent of a high-end steakhouse showcasing fresh farm-to-table cuisine and features a demonstration kitchen with an open-hearth oven. Here, the must-try menu item is the Chesapeake Bay crab cakes with smoked corn and white bean relish, fennel, red onion and pineapple slaw, served with Old Bay remoulade.
  • The Wolf Trap Bistro is a casual dining experience offering breakfast and lunch, snacks and entrees along with a wide variety of coffees and desserts. Here, the must-try menu item is the Ridiculously Good Triple Chocolate Brownie, featuring three types of chocolate blended with almond flour, cane sugar and cinnamon and baked into a terrific brownie.
  • The Wolf Trap Lounge includes a full bar and features Virginia wines and local beers. The menu offers shares and starters as well as a selection of salads, sandwiches and flatbreads. Here, the must-try menu item is the grass-fed burger with bacon, caramelized onions, shiitake mushrooms and chipotle aioli, served on a brioche bun.

Stop by and meet Chef Allen for yourself. Call 571-396-0500 or visit The Providence website to schedule a tour.

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