Cooking for One: Chef Shares Secrets

ivy Marketing Group
Updated 10/6/2016 4:34 PM

Several weeks ago, Dan Jalove, assistant dining services manager for The Springs, performed a demonstration titled Cooking for One, to a packed house for visitors from Lisle Park District. "We are always proud to 'show-off' Dan. He is such a talented chef has a fascinating background," said Samantha Breden, business development manager at The Springs. "He is a U.S. Navy veteran who was formerly the personal chef to Rear Admiral Tracy on the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman in Norfolk, Virginia. We like to tease him that he still makes sure that everything he prepares is 'ship shape.'"

Dan enlisted in the Navy immediately after high school. "When I graduated, I knew I wasn't ready for college and I wanted to see the world. I knew that I didn't physically want to be on the ground in a war. I wanted to support the cause, but not be in harms way," Dan said. "I told the recruiter and said I wanted to do something that wouldn't get me killed. He said, 'okay, how about cooking?' and I said 'yes.' It was the first time I cooked." Dan recalled that he spent his first 18 months onboard the ship, cooking bacon from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fortunately he gradually moved through the ranks, and found himself eventually cooking for the Admiral and his sometimes famous guests.


After retiring from the Navy, Dan attended Kendall College under the G.I. Bill, earning his degree in culinary arts. He then received his certification as a dietary manager. Dan has worked in senior housing for ten years. "I love doing fancy cooking while getting to know residents and hearing their awesome stories. I also like seeing the expressions on their faces when you make something special for them that they've been wanting. I love their smiles when they smell breakfast cooking, or have their first cup of coffee brought to them," he said.

At The Springs, Dan said, great food is a priority. In addition to being nutritional, Dan said they strive to make the food diverse and flavorful. "We're always getting compliments about our cooking. We have a new resident moving here who is so excited because she's tried our food and can't wait to have it all of the time. If I ever hear anything negative, I'll go and search out the resident and find out what we can do to make the meal better next time," he said.

"When people are investigating assisted living or skilled nursing, I tell them to check out the food. If it's made with love and smells and looks good and tastes, good, it's a place that will truly take care of your loved one," he said. The Springs at Monarch Landing, he added, is such a place.

Monarch Landing is a Life Plan Community located on a scenic campus in Naperville, Illinois-named "one of America's best places to live and retire" by Modern Maturity, and "the best city for early retirement" by Kiplinger. Monarch Landing offers independent living, promoting a vibrant life style for active seniors. The Springs at Monarch Landing offers assisted living memory support, rehabilitation and skilled nursing services, thus providing complete continuing care for seniors. Monarch Landing is owned by Senior Care Development and managed by Life Care Services. For additional information visit or