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Theresa Cinq-Mars

Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) and Certified Food Protection Professional (CFPP) | The Willows at Worcester

Theresa Cinq-Mars, Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) and Certified Food Protection Professional (CFPP), started working at The Willows at Worcester as Culinary Director in September 2021 after many years of experience in the culinary industry.

Cinq-Mars studied nutrition at Framingham State University before transferring to Johnson & Wales University after realizing her love of cooking. After graduating with her Culinary Arts Degree, Cinq-Mars worked extensively in restaurants as well as various senior living communities. She quickly realized that she had a passion working for seniors. She explains, “I have a lot of satisfaction in making people happy and in my experiences, I’ve always developed great relationships with seniors and make them happy through food and a great dining experience.”

When culinary opportunities opened at SALMON, Cinq-Mars jumped at the opportunity. She explains that the “Senior living culinary industry is a small world and I have always heard great things about SALMON.”

Since starting in September, Cinq-Mars says, “My experience with SALMON has been excellent. Jason Wallin [SALMON’s Director of Culinary Operations] and Jeff Sellers [Executive Director at The Willows at Worcester] are so supportive and I’m so thankful for my team in Worcester – I’m incredibly lucky.”

In her role as Culinary Director, Cinq-Mars manages the 54-person culinary team, including on-site restaurant servers, event preparation, collaborates with staff and Residents to create different menu options, and more.

Cinq-Mars is most proud of the team she’s been able to build since starting at The Willows at Worcester and her ability to listen to Residents and provide what they want during their dining experience – delicious food and good service. “I always mention to my team that at The Willows, we create strong relationships with Residents and we’re a team of staff who see them multiple times a day – these relationships are important.”

Looking to the future, Cinq-Mars says, “I have a lot of plans for what I want to do in this position;” one of the goals being ongoing cooking classes for Residents as well as “Menu 101” courses about navigating through menus.

Reflecting on her love for cooking and some of her favorite dishes to make, Cinq-Mars says, “I love to take a classic dish and make it healthier without sacrificing flavor. For example, I love taking chicken broccoli alfredo and substituting the cream for other dairy alternatives, or with sauteed chicken and lentil pasta- it’s important to provide different options.”

Cinq-Mars lives in Blackstone, MA with her husband, their 13-year-old son, and their two dogs. Their favorite thing to do together as a family is camp and take trips in their travel trailer.