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What Does Dining Look Like at a Luxury Retirement Community?


Living at one of the area’s upscale retirement communities — like Ventana by Buckner — means expecting the best of everything. That’s especially true when  it comes to something residents do two to three times a day: dine.  That’s why, at Ventana, every meal is a culinary experience. To help us define what makes a luxury retirement community unique, we turned to celebrated restaurateur, cookbook author, philanthropist and educator, Chef Stephan Pyles.  Bon Appétit magazine has credited Chef Pyles with “almost single-handedly changing the cooking scene in Texas” while the New York Times called him “an absolute genius in the kitchen.” Chef Pyles has created 23 restaurants in 6 cities over the past 32 years, including Routh Street Café, Baby Routh, Star Canyon, Stephan Pyles, Samar, Stampede 66 and Flora Street Café. He’s also a fifth-generation Texan chef and founding father of southwestern cuisine, so there was no one better to help us create five exclusive food and beverage venues at Ventana.

Drawing upon a lifetime of culinary excellence.

Chef Pyles began his culinary career bussing tables and chopping vegetables at his family’s Truck Stop Café in Big Spring, Texas, but chose to study music at Texas A & M University. However, after a trip to France where he experienced haute cuisine for the first time, he changed his tune.  A few years later, Chef Pyles was invited to The Great Chefs of France Cooking School at the Mondavi Winery. There he served as a chef’s assistant and worked with Michelin 3-star chefs of the day such as Michel Guerard, Jean and Pierre Troigros, Alain Chapel, Paul Bocuse and Gaston LeNotre. He also met and worked closely with Julia Child, and their warm friendship continued until her death.  Other accolades include:

  • First person in the Southwest to win a James Beard Award for Best Chef 
  • First Texan inducted into The Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Wine in America
  • 12 nominations by the Beard Foundation for Outstanding Chef in America 
  • 6 restaurants that were finalists for Best New Restaurant in America 
  • Cooked for dignitaries and celebrities world-wide, including 6 American presidents, 7 First Ladies, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 
  • Named Chef of the Year by the Dallas Morning News, D Magazine, Dallas Observer and the Dallas Voice
  • Esquire Magazine’s Chef of the Year
  • Named one of the 20 most influential Texans of the year by Texas Monthly 
  • Hosted two seasons of the Emmy-award winning PBS series New Tastes from Texas
  • 10th chef inducted into Nation’s Restaurant News’ Menu Masters Hall of Fame, joining the ranks of Wolfgang Puck, Paul Prudhomme, Jeremiah Tower, Daniel Boulud, and Jose Andres
  • Author of four highly successful cookbooks: “The New Texas Cuisine,” “Tamales,” “New Tastes from Texas” and “Southwestern Vegetarian”

Chef Pyles culinary concepts offered exclusively at Ventana by Buckner.

These unique dining venues created by Chef Pyles put the luxury in luxury retirement communities and are only available to the members of Ventana to enjoy:

  • Café Americano: Choose this  casual bistro setting for  comforting soups, fresh salads and hearty sandwiches.
  • Mediterraneo: Savor the big, bold flavors of this healthy Mediterranean-style cuisine in a semiformal  setting. We also offer a classic brunch menu on Sundays.
  • The Landing: Enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast in our cozy coffee bar located in Mediterraneo 7 days a week. During dinner and brunch hours, we also feature a full-service bar.
  • Dorado: Dine on refined New American cuisine made with local Texas ingredients in our stylish, intimate formal dining room.
  • The Sky Lounge: 12 stories above downtown Dallas, a spectacular view is paired with handcrafted cocktails, succulent appetizers and shared small plates.
  • The Reserve: If you’re looking for a private dining space to gather with family and friends on special occasions, schedule your event at The Reserve. Our culinary team will even help you plan the menu and drink selection.

A selection above: Ventana by Buckner.

As you explore your retirement options, be sure to consider the area’s premier senior living community: Ventana by Buckner. Our community offers the true luxury of an engaging lifestyle today with a smart, practical plan for the future. To learn more, contact us here and discover everything you’re looking for in an upscale retirement community, including amazing high-rise views.