What’s the mark of a great meal? If you ask Elvis Burrows, Director of Dining Services at The Mayflower, it’s about much more than “feeding people” – it’s feeding innovation, creativity, and a memorable experience.
“We don’t see ourselves as competing with other communities – we want to offer great dining, period,” he says. “When you sit down to a meal at The Mayflower, you can expect the same level of service, the same style and quality of cuisine that you’d get at the top local restaurants.”
For Elvis, a love of cooking has been one of life’s constants – from the age of six, when he sat on the kitchen counter and learned his mother’s recipes, and through the years as he mastered cuisine and hospitality at Florida’s leading restaurants and hotels. When that passion led him to The Mayflower, he knew it was the perfect opportunity to bring new ideas to the table.
Under his leadership, The Mayflower’s dining has undergone a complete transformation – starting with enhancements to existing venues at the formal dining room, The Winslow, and the upscale, pub-style experience at The Grille … and culminating in the grand opening of Cru Quarters, a sophisticated bistro featuring brick-oven-fired pizza, beer on tap, and a selection of 100 wine labels from around the world.
From the ambiance of the dining rooms to the flavors on the menu, every factor was carefully designed by a seasoned team of culinary stars – including Executive Chef Patrick Tramontana, who came to The Mayflower from Antonio’s Maitland.
“Cru Quarters was our chance to pull out all the stops and get creative,” says Elvis. “The dining concept was inspired by ‘wine country,’ with carefully crafted pairings and flavors for every dish on the menu – and our offerings change throughout the year, so we can highlight the freshness and flavor of in-season ingredients.”
Reimagined menus at The Grille and The Winslow venues are also bringing creativity to the table, with zesty new recipes and a selection of signature cocktails and mocktails. Elvis, who has a mixology background, devised many of the drinks himself – including his personal favorite, the award-winning “Mayflower Margarita.”
Inspired by the hospitality-first approach of country clubs and luxury resorts, Elvis and his team aimed to set guests at ease from the moment they arrive, and reimagining guest interactions from stem to stern.
“When you walk in the door, are you greeted by a host? Does your server remember your name, your favorite table, and the way you like your martini?” he says. “Little things like that are what tip the scale from a good meal to a great one.”
Beyond the menu, The Mayflower has also been experimenting with hands-on activities that offer interested diners more insight into their meals – and the chefs who prepare them.
“We’ve started offering ‘chef experiences’ for residents, featuring a four-course tasting menu where each dish is paired with a different wine,” Elvis says. “It’s a guided experience in a small, intimate setting. The chef walks you through the flavors and elements, how everything is put together – and the sommelier explains how the wine and the food complement each other.”
After the success of The Mayflower’s first interactive pizza-making activity, the culinary team began offering new options, including hands-on classes in making fresh pasta and wine-tasting seminars with a staff sommelier.
And there’s more to come, Elvis says: “We’ve heard from so many residents who love the new offerings, and we’re excited to explore more possibilities in the future. This is what dining looks like for the next generation of older adults – adventurous, adaptive, a whole different experience.”
When you live at The Mayflower, you don’t have to go far to enjoy the best things in life. From lifelong learning classes and wellness programming … to art, culture, cuisine and entertainment, we dream big to feed curiosity, fulfillment, and growth throughout life. And with stylish (and surprisingly affordable) apartments available now, there’s no better time to get on board.
Ready to learn more? Send us a message or give us a call at 407.672.1620 to book your personal tour today. We look forward to hearing from you!