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New Chef Brings Comfort Cooking to Hospice Center

Swart’s food will be featured at fundraising gala May 29

A simple but delicious fresh-baked cookie made from scratch with wholesome ingredients can help bring comfort to hospice patients and their families. It’s a concept that chef Aaron Swart is embracing as he moves from cooking at four-star resorts to making meals for hospice patients and families at the newly opened Regional Hospice and Home Care Center for Comfort Care & Healing in Danbury, Conn.

“As a chef, I have always taken pride in my work,” he said. “But you don’t always feel like you are doing good. This is not only nutritional work but work that is good for the soul of patients and their families. It’s been very inspirational.”

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Aaron Swart and The Waterview Executive Chef Nino Martino

Swart is bringing his experiences cooking at resorts, cruise lines and vacation meccas to Regional Hospice, where he feeds patients, families, nurses and staff who are at the hospice center either providing or receiving end-of-life care. He endeavors to nurture those around him, who are nurturing others, by providing comforting, nutritious meals and snacks, and also fulfilling food wishes.

“Patients are encouraged to order whatever they want,” he said. “I will get it.” Recent requests have included veal cutlets, hamburgers and chocolate cake.

To showcase Swart’s talent, his zuppa Toscana course will be featured at Regional Hospice & Home Care’s upcoming gala, “An Evening in Tuscany,” to be held May 29 from 7 to 11:30 p.m. at The Waterview in Monroe, Conn. Swart will be cooking alongside The Waterview executive chef, Nino Martino, who will create a one-of-a-kind five-course meal that brings a bit of Italy to Connecticut, including Penne alla Boscaiola, Maiale Brasato al vino rosso and Limoncello cheesecake.

“This is a meal that has never been created at The Waterview,” said Cynthia E. Roy, MS, LCSW, CHA, president and CEO of Regional Hospice & Home Care. “Old Italy will inspire new aspirations as we transform the ballroom into a Tuscan garden party, complete with a specially created wine pairing and several other surprises.”

For Swart, cooking at the gala will be another way for him to support the work of Regional Hospice & Home Care.

“Meals are the world’s first social network,” he said. “The fact that I can do good for people through my cooking means a lot to me.”

To sample Swart’s soup and all the other Tuscan offerings at the gala, please contact Felicia Saraceno at (203) 702-7435 or fsaraceno@regionalhospicect.org or log on to regionalhospicect.org/Events. Individual ticket price for the gala is $150 and includes cocktails, dinner and drinks, and dancing. Sponsorship opportunities include a $20,000 Diamond Presenting Sponsor, $7,500 Silver Photographer Sponsor, $5,000 Bronze Dessert Sponsor, $2,500 Copper Sponsor, $1,000 Green Sponsor and $500 Patron Sponsors. Donations of raffle items are also welcome.