As part of culinary arts month, we sat down with our Executive Chef, Josh Hermano, to talk about his role at Inspīr Carnegie Hill. Chef Josh joined the Inspīr team in August 2021, and along with his team, he quickly won the hearts and stomachs of our residents with his delicious dishes served in our 1802 restaurant and Onyx bistro. He and his team not only cook for our residents but also prepare specialized meals for families, events, and VIP guests.
What is a meal at 1802 like?
The 1802 menu is crafted around the season but also catered, of course, to the tastes of our residents. They love a wide variety of fish, so I serve everything from Arctic char and branzino to striped bass. I get them fresh off the boat from my favorite fish market, Tony’s, that I’ve been working with for at least ten years. Based in the Bronx, they’ve been in business for over 30 years. The quality of the fish is superior and always so fresh. We get great compliments from residents on our fish dishes.
What special things are you doing for residents this summer?
We have several great outdoor spaces, so I recently set up a barbecue on the outdoor terrace of the SkyPark. We serve Italian sausages, grilled shrimp on skewers, scallops on the half shell, beef tenderloin kebobs, and a selection of side dishes. Summer is young, and I have lots of great ideas to celebrate the season with fresh, seasonally inspired ingredients and classic summertime dishes.
One of our residents, Mitchell, told me, “This brings back memories. It feels like I’m in my backyard.” These remarks make my day and drive me to push myself to deliver not only fabulous food but memorable experiences. I love what I do, and when the residents are satisfied and happy, then I love my job even more.
What does it mean to you to work with seniors and give them delicious meals to enhance their health and well-being?
The menus at Inspīr are specifically created with heart and brain health in mind and feature locally sourced and flavorful superfoods. Residents enjoy the beet salad, hummus and pita dip, lean meats, fresh fish, and all our fresh vegetables. Prepared to order, each resident gets exactly what they enjoy, and I know that they are getting a dish packed with the nutrients their body needs as they age.
Every two weeks, I host cooking demonstrations in the private dining room on the 17th floor. The view is incredible; it looks out onto the East River, Brooklyn, and Queens. In June, we made spring rolls using finely sliced carrots, red peppers, cucumbers, scallions, and pan-seared duck and finished them off with my special hoisin sauce.
Susan, one of our residents who is a chef at heart, told me, “The food is great, and I enjoy learning how to prepare new dishes.” That’s when you know you are doing something right. Seeing them excited to be at the table, engaged in preparing the food, and talking among themselves shows me that we are creating memorable experiences that bring joy to their day. This is what I love about my job.
It's not just about me, though. Recently, my talented sous chef, Joaquin, created a special one-on-one experience for Charlotte, who adores baking. The duo baked her favorite dessert, chocolate cake. They each made one along with a chocolate coffee buttercream from scratch as the filling and then had a slice together!
At Inspīr, our commitment to culinary excellence means we work with the highest quality, nutrient-filled foods curated by our team. Often juxtaposing global fusion and local inspiration, we offer cuisines that provide residents with exceptional and indulgent dining while also prioritizing their well-being.