Berlin Lillard cultivates fine dining standards as Psynergy’s Executive Chef
Berlin Lillard has deep roots in the culinary arts scene in California. Formerly executive chef at the Stockton Golf and Country Club, Nordstrom’s in Palo Alto and the Marriott Hotel in Fairfield, Lillard also catered the base banquets at Travis Air Force Base. After attending culinary school, he taught others how to cook through a program at the YMCA, and had opportunities to cook with celebrities like Cat Cora, Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme. A cherished memory was cooking for Julia Child’s 80th birthday party at the California Culinary Academy.
At Psynergy, Lillard is focusing on teaching clients how to eat better in an enjoyable way.
“We all know that health is wealth,” says Lillard. “Here, we want clients to finish dinner, because the portion is based on their medical needs. Wholesome, nutritious, farm-to-table ingredients are the key. We are now introducing a more culinary arts sort of menu, elevating Psynergy’s food service to a fine dining experience. We’re introducing in-house butchery to fabricate our own meats, buying whole loins for steaks, and grinding our own burgers for the freshest taste.”
Lillard is overseeing the chef managers at all four of the Psynergy campuses, at Nueva Vista in Morgan Hill, Cielo Vista in Greenfield, Nueva Vista Sacramento, and Sacramento’s Vista de Robles, where his office is located.
He is a big fan of special meals for holidays. At Thanksgiving, clients enjoyed prime rib and turkey with stuffing, cranberry, roasted Brussels sprouts with wild boar bacon and white raspberry chocolate truffle cheesecake for dessert. At Christmas the meal featured a Black Forest German ham.
“We’re having fun around different cultures and ethnic holidays – white, black, Asian, and Hispanic,” says Lillard. “We have clients from everywhere, so we’re introducing a more international cuisine and broadening the horizons of both our chef managers and our clients.”
When off-duty, Lillard loves to travel. He and his wife stamp their passports at least twice a year. The photo above was taken at the world-renowned Michelin three-star Epicure in Paris, one of his favorite restaurants.