Olson Dinner Nights: Redefining retirement community dining

Chefs Michael and Anna Olson in the Seasons kitchen

At Seasons, we understand how important it is to serve quality food that our residents love to eat. Since 2018, Seasons Retirement Communities has demonstrated this commitment by partnering with celebrity chef couple Michael and Anna Olson.

About Michael & Anna Olson

Anna Olson, Canada’s baking sweetheart, is one of the most recognizable television chefs in the country. Her positive and common sense approach in the kitchen has been displayed on the Food Network shows such as “Bake with Anna Olson”, “Fresh with Anna Olson”, and “Sugar”. Anna’s work continues to be highlighted in magazines and her line of best-selling cookbooks. Both the Ontario Hostelry Institute and the Canadian Food & Wine Institute have recognized her for ongoing contributions to the development of Canadian food culture.

Michael Olson has been a Chef Professor at the Niagara Colleges Food and Wine Institute since 2001. The institute has been included in MacLean’s Magazine, Top Canadian Culinary Schools list. A compliment to Anna’s sweet desserts, Michael’s focus remains on savoury dishes. A successful cookbook author himself, Michael has been recognized for his contributions to the Canadian culinary scene and has co-authored three bestselling cookbooks. Titles include Inn On the Twenty Cookbook, Anna and Michael Olson Cook at Home and most recently, Living High Off the Hog.

Michael and Anna are clearly two halves of an extraordinary chef power-couple. What truly makes them unique, aside from their skill sets, is their shared friendly and approachable attitude. Our residents love swapping baking tips with Anna during demonstrations, and Michael is always willing to share a thoughtful answer to an audience question or vice versa. These two are magic to work with!

Partnership continued

At Seasons, we have accomplished a great deal during our second year with the Olsons: From hosting four successful Facebook Live events to follow-along baking classes, to in-person appearances at Seasons’ festivities like Open Houses and Family Picnics, the partnership has been widely well-received.

“Chef Michael and Anna’s continuous contributions to our menus supports Seasons position that retirement dining should be fresh, flavourful and simply delicious,” says Larry Bone, Director of Dining Services at Seasons. “Some people continue to think that retirement food is boring and bland. Partnering with Michael and Anna Olson helps us to change this misconception. It also gives our chefs inspiration when creating new dishes for our residents.”

New this year: Olson Dinner Party

This year, we are excited to be featuring an Olson Dinner Party each month at all 20 of our retirement homes across Ontario and Alberta. Each menu will be planned and provided by chefs Michael and Anna and prepared by our Dining Services Managers. The dinner night will include a mouth-watering main, recipe provided by Michael, and a sweet dessert, recipe provided by Anna, to create a special evening of culinary excitement. Upon invitation, residents will also get to read an exclusive story behind the meal choices from Michael and Anna, adding to the overall dining experience.

“This partnership with Seasons channels the spirit of my grandmother and the connection I had with her. Our bond was food. Food brings us all together. Nowadays, it is more important than ever to establish contentment and nutrition around mealtime,” says Anna.

We look forward to our partnership with the Olsons in 2020. We have a feeling it’s going to be even sweeter than ever before!

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