BROOKLYN, N.Y.—Renowned chef Kfir Kertes has joined The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights, a 275-unit luxury seniors housing residence at 21 Clark Street, opening in summer 2020, as executive chef.
The $330 million Brooklyn Heights property is one of five managed by Watermark Retirement Communities in their Élan Collection. This lifestyle brand of premier properties offers personal service with grand scale amenities. An extensive renovation and redevelopment of the historic Clark Street property into Brooklyn’s first luxury senior living community is currently nearing completion.
“At The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights, we consider every meal to be a celebration of good taste, good health, and good company. We are delighted to welcome Kfir Kertes as our executive chef and are confident that his culinary expertise will maintain the high standards we have set for our members,” said executive director Rocco Bertini.
“I am passionate about the creation of exciting dishes with attractive presentation and incredible taste. I also hope to set a higher bar for gourmet expectations throughout the luxury senior living industry,” stated Kertes. “Our dining team will be creating exciting daily specials, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, that will offer variety and engage our members. Many of our dishes will be based on the Mediterranean culinary tradition, known for its health and wellness benefits,” he added.
Kertes will direct all culinary operations, develop daily and seasonal menus, and will work closely with nutritionists and dieticians to translate members’ tastes and preferences into attractive, nutritious options that will offer superior quality while addressing individual needs. He will create custom menus for the property opening and other special events. Kertes will also oversee hiring, onboarding, and staff training for the food preparation personnel. Upon reaching full occupancy, The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights’ dining staff will total up to 75 people, including the kitchen crew of 30.
The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights will offer several restaurant options. On the first floor, the Willow + Clark Café, a European-inspired casual café and bistro, and The Biblio, an intimate library and wine bar, provide welcoming spaces that foster gatherings with family and fellow members. The 50,000-square foot dining and entertainment level features The W Room, a stunning two-story formal restaurant and bar that serves three restaurant-style meals each day, and Gustoso & Family, an Mediterranean–inspired exhibition kitchen centered around a wood-burning brick hearth. A private dining room is also available for special functions.
Menus will feature favorite recipes of both chefs and members, prepared in small batches and finished to order. House baked breads and freshly prepared desserts will be served each day. Room service will be available for residents who prefer to dine in their apartments. Finally, Gourmet Bites, Watermark’s signature culinary program, restores the joy of dining for individuals living with physical, neuromuscular and cognitive changes through meticulously curated menus of high quality, freshly prepared bite-sized dishes with modified textures and enhanced appearances and aromas that are easy to eat and appealing to residents.
Prior to joining Watermark, Kertes served as executive chef for Rockstar Hotels, Club Quarters, and Z NYC Hotel, all located in New York City. Previously, he managed special projects in Africa and Israel and worked as a chef and manager for several Israeli hotels and restaurants.
About Watermark Retirement Communities
The Tucson, Arizona-based Watermark team has nearly 30 years of experience creating retirement communities that offer assisted living and memory care, as well as independent living. The organization currently has 63 communities (with 5 under development or redevelopment) across 21 states and was named the thirteenth largest senior living operator in 2019, according to the American Seniors Housing Association. Two regional communities are already in operation in Millbrook and Tuckahoe, New York, with 12 others in upstate New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Watermark Retirement Communities places great emphasis on curating programs that are unique to each location, facilitating experiences that are far removed from the traditional concept of senior living. Through an extensive list of engagement opportunities, members remain consistently inspired, active and catered to in every possible manner. To learn more, please visit watermarkrcommunities.com.
About Watermark’s Élan Collection
The newly launched Élan Collection creates a new standard in senior living and care, blending ageless style with leading edge innovation, personal service with grand-scale amenities, intimate tranquility with engaging opportunities and a spirited lifestyle with customized care. Along with The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights, the Élan Collection features four other premium locations – The Watermark at Westwood Village in Los Angeles, The Watermark at Napa Valley, California, and The Hacienda at the River and The Hacienda at the Canyon in Tucson, Arizona.
About Kayne Anderson Real Estate
Kayne Anderson Real Estate (KA Real Estate) is a leading real estate private equity investor in senior housing, medical office, off-campus student housing, and self-storage. As of May 31, 2020, KA Real Estate had $10.5 billion in assets under management across its opportunistic equity, core returns and real estate debt investments. KA Real Estate is part of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, an investment firm that manages $30.5 billion in assets under management, and has more than 30 years of successful experience in the real estate, infrastructure, credit, and private equity sectors.
About Tishman Speyer
Tishman Speyer is a leading owner, developer, operator and fund manager of first-class real estate around the world. Founded in 1978, Tishman Speyer is active across the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia, building and managing premier office, residential and retail space in 29 key global markets for industry-leading tenants. The firm has acquired, developed and operated a portfolio of over 175 million square feet with a total value of approximately US $94 billion spread over 411 assets. Signature assets include New York City’s Rockefeller Center, São Paulo’s Torre Norte, The Springs in Shanghai, Lumière in Paris and OpernTurm in Frankfurt. Tishman Speyer currently has projects at different stages of development in Boston, Beijing, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Madrid, New York City, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Washington, DC. The firm also operates portfolios of prominent office properties in Berlin, Paris, Chicago and London. For more information, visit tishmanspeyer.com and find us on social media @tishmanspeyer.
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