The menu for residents at Autumn Leaves of Cy-Fair has a secret ingredient: a talented chef who makes delicious homemade yeast rolls.
Brad DeVos, culinary manager at the assisted living facility, has been in the restaurant industry for 28 years. Beginning his back-of-house career as a dishwasher in his hometown of Pittsburgh, he eventually made his way to Houston, then to Autumn Leaves where he worked his way up from a cook to culinary manager.
He comes from a long line of family in the food industry: his grandfather and father even owned a meat market.
“They were meat purveyors, so it’s in the family,” he said. “I knew the job. I got into the kitchen end of it by washing dishes, and then just got into cooking.”
DeVos says he cooks at home for his wife all the time.
“She loves me for it, to say the least,” he said, noting that he also cooks for friends whenever they have get-togethers. “I’m usually the go-to guy because I know what I’m doing.”
One of DeVos’ favorite times of the year is when his team serves special dinners to Autumn Leaves residents and their families. He said they will be hosting a family dinner night on Dec. 19.
“We invite all the residents’ family members in, and we serve them a special dinner. It will consist of ham and all the good Christmas dinner stuff,” he said. “That special day for them when they have their family members come in, that’s the biggest thing for me.”
What is the residents’ favorite dish? DeVos says it’s homemade yeast rolls.
“Out of all the food that was being served (at our Thanksgiving meal), the rolls were the number one hit.”
Many families will be hosting holiday meals with their elderly loved ones, and DeVos advises cooks to watch for too much salt and too much sugar.
“The biggest concern with a lot of our residents is diabetes,” he explained. “You can make sugar-free desserts, and they taste just as good.”
NAME: Brad DeVos
OCCUPATION: Culinary manager
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Works at Autumn Leaves of Cy-Fair
FAST FACT: He loves the sandwiches from Primanti Bros. in Pittsburgh that have French fries and coleslaw on them. He’s tried to re-create them, but can’t perfect the Mancini’s bread. He also loves perogies and says he’s turned a few Texans onto them.
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