New Executive Chef puts heart and soul into every meal.
Da'Yvanna 'Davy' Horton, the newly promoted Executive Chef at PMMA, is ready and excited to manage the daily menu at The Landing - and to learn more about residents’ culinary palates.
“I go out there and see if the food quality is good for the residents,” Davy said. That’s the big thing I do hands-on in leadership. Others of course are scheduling, planning the menu, teaching the crew proper placement. But I really enjoy going out and touching base with residents.”
To her, food service is a family affair.
“I’m very personable,” she said. “I make it a family deal, we’re friends and we laugh and joke. The residents give me feedback - sometimes bad. But I try to be playful with them. Even if something’s wrong, I try to make it a brighter situation. I make them feel like we’re all people. I’m not out here for business. I ask them ‘Was it good, what did you like, what do you want to see?’ This is your home. I can give you a feel like you’re at home. They have gotten to know me now that I’m coming out of the kitchen. I’m loving what I’m doing.”
Davy came from a family of givers, with her mom serving at Children's Home and as a foster mom. Her dad also loves to cook, and taught her how to cook from a young age.
“As a kid, I was a big Daddy’s girl, Davy said. “He’d show me how to cook little dishes and then move to bigger things. It’s a good way to bond with your family. It’s how I bonded with my Dad. He’s my go-to if I have questions about how to cook something. I love cooking. I cook from the soul, from the heart, and with love. You feel it before you taste it.”
The Landing is a reservation-based restaurant where servers take care of the residents and their guests. The restaurant takes reservations from 5 pm to 6:30 pm, while the nearby Bistro operates from 11 am to 6 pm.
Among the most frequent resident requests, Davy said, is more smoked meats.
“I bought a little pellet smoker for the oven, and they love the fact that I can smoke things on it,” Davy said. “I try to give them a smoked item once a week, using Jack Daniels smoke pellets.”
Apart from her role at The Landing, Davy is also a single mother to a 5-year-old daughter, and is currently working through a pledge process for a local service sorority.
“More to give her a role model, and show her there’s no limit to what she can do,” Davy said. “To show the little one looking up to me there’s another side of the world, and to instill in her head that there’s no word as ‘I can’t.’ “