Culinary Services Director Nina Quirk’s mission is to build and refine a meal program that caters to residents’ desires and tastes.
She is passionate about cooking from scratch and seeks the best recipe ingredients.
“I will not allow our kitchens to buy prepared foods,” she says. “I want to ensure we use quality ingredients in every part of the operation. This takes time to build, but that is always my primary goal.”
Nina grew up in a family restaurant and earned a master’s degree in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she graduated, she went into kitchen operations management, focusing on senior living.
She says connecting with The Commons’ residents and creating meaningful experiences centered around food is what she likes best about her job. “I love hearing their stories and passions as they relate to food,” she adds.”
Her connection with her grandmothers—especially one who was a home chef featured in magazines—served as a model for Nina. “She inspired me my whole life as a woman who worked and raised six children while creating homemade food for her family,” Nina says. “During my masters, I wrote one of my theses on ‘Grandmother Cuisine’ and how it plays a role in society. I conducted many of my studies around the senior population, but she was the inspiration.”
Nina is a forager and a gardener in her spare time, and she and her husband Mike are renovating an old farm. They have two sons, ages 13 and 11.