Chef Spotlight Juan C. Diaz – Spring Meadows Libertyville

Juan moved to the United States from Mexico when he was 18 years old.  He has 2 brothers and a sister and he bravely came to the states with his uncle to seek new opportunities.  Juan began his career in the food service industry in the city of Chicago and started as a dishwasher in a restaurant owned by a Greek family catering to a Jewish clientele.  Thus, Juan has a love for Jewish foods.  This ultimately led to Juan assisting in the opening of a Jewish restaurant called The Slice of Life in Skokie, Illinois. 

Other gateways in Juan’s career have been in the hotel industry for Holiday Inn working as a chef for 5 years managing the restaurants and banquet facilities.  He also has worked at Loyola University as the chef for 5 years and fed 1000 people a day.  Juan, always looking for upward mobility in his career, came across an opportunity to work for The Classic Residence by Hyatt, which became a Brookdale Senior Living Community. He later transferred and became the chef of The Heritage of Des Plaines.   He then worked at the Mather Foundation in Wilmette, Illinois which is a non-profit senior housing community.   This was his stepping stone to move to Capital Senior Living at Spring Meadows Libertyville. 

Juan joined Spring Meadows in 2006 and the community of Spring Meadows has enjoyed and appreciated Juan’s expertise and experience.  Juan was invited by CSL to travel to Dallas, Texas to join a select group of property Chef’s to formulate and discuss quality control issues and was instrumental in guiding corporate food purchasing options.  Juan was extended this honor several years in a row. 

Juan says “What I like most about this industry is my opportunity to give back to the seniors.  I respect their history and each individual story that they share with me.”  I enjoy the mix of heritage and the challenge of cooking for so many moms.”

Juan resides in Libertyville, Illinois and has 6 wonderful children and 4 adorable grandchildren that he enjoys spending as much time with as possible.  Juan says that he plans to continue to work in this industry for as long as he is physically able.  “I love what I do!”

Juan is greatly appreciated by the entire staff of Spring Meadows and the residents of Spring Meadows.