Woodland Terrace chef aims for healthy, high quality options


By Mark Ambrogi

Paul Dibner is staying in the food service business, but his new job will be quite a bit different.

CIZ HEALTH 0124 Dibner Chef

Dibner, 39, was hired as Woodland Terrace of Carmel executive chef in November, 2016. Woodland Terrace, a new senior living community, is expected to open in late February.

Most recently, the Whitestown resident was a regional executive chef at Matt the Miller’s Tavern in Carmel. Prior to that, he worked at Noah Grant’s Grill House & Oyster Bar in Zionsville.  Among the restaurants he’s worked for are P.F. Chang’s and Palomino’s.

“Health care was not even on my radar,” Dibner said. “What we are doing over there is definitely something different. It allows me to showcase my skills and continue doing what I’m doing but in a little bit more productive setting. I get to give back a little bit just besides just taking people’s money.”

Along with being chef, Dibner will serve as a food and beverage director.

Woodland Terrace’s food service will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

“Restaurants are pretty brutal. Hours are anywhere from 55 to 90 hours a week,” said Dibner, who is married with three young children. “Here, if I’m not home by 7:30, I’ve done something wrong. Once we get everyone trained and everything is humming on all cylinders, it will be a much shorter work week.”

Dibner said he always takes healthy cooking into consideration.

“If someone came in and had dietary restrictions, we absolutely accommodated and tried to do it with as much fun and flair as possible,” Dibner said. “There might be a few more dietary restrictions. But as this age group starts to get larger and larger, most people move into places like Woodland Terrace, their expectations of food are still very, very high. They don’t want to go into a place where they get a plate of food that has been sitting in a hot box for three or four hours.”

There will be two full restaurants, called the Overlook and the Vista, with set menus and  daily and weekly specials.

“We’re going to cook it to order, just like a regular restaurant would,” Dibner said.  “We’re going to make sure we’re there with really good food and atmosphere. We’re working in their home.”