For a Taste of Gourmet, Head to Verena at Gilbert

Meet the Culinary Director at Verena at Gilbert

Chef Stephan Germanaud is the Culinary Director at Verena at Gilbert, a modern Independent Living Community in the town of Gilbert, Arizona, ideally located right off the 202 San Tan and Val Vista Road.

Chef Stephan Germanaud Verena at Gilbert
Chef Stephan Germanaud, Culinary Director at Verena at Gilbert

Chef Stephan’s culinary journey began in Bourdeaux, France, where he grew up spending a lot of time in the kitchen with his grandmother, who, he says, was a fantastic cook. “My grandmother had a profound effect on my life, giving me the love of food and inspiring me to learn how to cook, and cook well,” he says.

At only 13 years old, Chef Stephan continued his journey in culinary school, acquiring culinary and management degrees over a period of five years, including a degree in French Culinary Art from the esteemed Lycee de L’Hotellerie et du Tourisme De Gascone in Talence, France. He describes the hands-on training as tough but the reason he has become the accomplished chef he is today.

At 20 years old, the aspiring chef made a life-changing move from France to Phoenix, Arizona, and began building an impressive resume, from cook to sous chef at The Phoenician luxury resort and progressing to Executive Chef and Executive Banquet Chef positions at other high-end properties, including Boulders Resort & Spa and the historic Wrigley Mansion. He also catered notable events, including the Mayor’s luncheon with President Barack Obama and the NFL Hall of Fame 2016.

Elevating Food in Senior Living

In 2017, Chef Stephan was inspired to join the senior living industry to elevate the perception of what food should be in a retirement community. “I believe that the senior living industry is becoming more about a lifestyle rather than a need, and food is a very big part of what drives the decision to move into and stay at a community,” he says. “I want to show our residents, and future residents, that seniors deserve fresh and tasty food, as we all do. I want to be part of their culinary experience.”

Verena at Gilbert culinary creations

Chef Stephan says that making residents smile while having fun doing what he loves is one of the best parts about being at Verena at Gilbert. He’s often inspired by Verena residents, stating, “I have had residents pass me their recipes, and this gives me ideas of dishes to make according to what they like.” He also is passionate about using the freshest ingredients and keeping up with trends to continue delighting the recipients of his meals. “But, listening,” he says. “Listening to residents about what they want—now that is my number one priority.”

Times may have changed since Chef Stephan stepped into the Verena kitchen, but his attention to detail and dedication to making exquisite dishes from scratch has not wavered. He continues to create beautifully plated, delicious food, even if the “plate” happens to be a meal container delivered to a resident’s door.

Receive a Meal from Verena at Gilbert

Are you interested in receiving a Chef Stephan meal delivered to your home? Call us at 480-899-8200 to arrange for your personal delivery.

At Verena at Gilbert, an Independent Living Community in the town of Gilbert, Arizona, retire in style with retail shops, restaurants, and hiking trails all within reach, and enjoy easy access to Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Phoenix! Connect with new friends, engage in new adventures, and enjoy exquisite meals prepared by an experienced and creative culinary team driven by a passion for food.

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Verena at the Glen Resident Celebrates 100th Birthday

Verena at the Glen Resident Turns 100 Years Old

Verena at the Glen, an Independent Living Community in Glen Allen, Virginia, celebrated resident Laura Thomas Rice on July 14 as she turned 100 years old.

Verena at the Glen resident turns 100 years old

Laura was born in Alton, Va. on July 14, 1920, and is one of eight children, according to her family. Laura and her late husband, William Earl Thomas, moved to Oak Ridge, Tenn., in 1953. Laura was an active member of Oak Ridge Central Baptist Church from 1953 through 2017. Ten years subsequent to the death of her late husband, Laura married Walter Wilburn Rice who is also now deceased.

In late 2017, she moved to Verena at the Glen, an independent living facility located in Glen Allen, Va., to be closer to her family.

Laura was an officer in the Order of the Eastern Star in Oak Ridge. She and her late husband, Earl, were Field Directors of the National Campers and Hikers Association. They also enjoyed square dancing. Laura was also a volunteer at the Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge for many years.

Laura loves to travel and has been to 16 countries. She is currently an active participant in activities at Verena at the Glen. She is an avid reader and enjoys art. Laura has a daughter, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren who live in Virginia and Tennessee. She also has a deceased son.

When Laura was asked for her secret to living to be 100 years old, and looking as young and beautiful as she does, she replied, “I don’t know the secret to living to be 100 years old, I just trusted in God and kept going.”

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You’ll love coming home to your independent living, garden apartment in Verena at the Glen in Glen Allen, Virginia. Our homelike community is where you can build new friendships and enjoy your retirement. For more information, visit or call 804-261-1100.