Allen Lefferts is a man of many talents. Currently the chef at the Longmeadow Adult Center, his culinary talents are well known. He is an artist when he designs a plate of food and a gourmand when he plans the menu.
He adds flair to traditional favorites which draw crowds most days. Special meals sell out in the first few days of every month. On an average day, he produces over 100 meals for the dining room and the Meals on Wheels program. He is aided by two sous chefs and a team of volunteers who deliver meals to tables and to homes.
Allen moved to Springfield from New Jersey as a young child. He grew up in Forest Park, the youngest of five children. He attended high school at the Suffield Academy. He went to college at Keene State for almost a year, which he describes as the longest, best, most expensive party ever.
At loose ends, he was close to joining the military when a friend invited him to Long Island. There he found the work that he has done periodically ever since. A manager of 5 school cafeterias trained and hired Allen to run the cafeteria in an elementary school.
When he returned to this area, he became the Assistant Manager at Wilbraham Monson Academy where Paul Calberg was the Manager. (“Chef Paul” later worked at the Longmeadow Adult Center.) In addition to schools, Allen managed employee cafeterias in several businesses. He spent 5 years managing the cafeteria at Spaulding Co. where he also accumulated a lot of golf balls.
Allen enjoys himself by composing classical music. Without formal training, he has learned to chart orchestral compositions which, he claims, only he likes. He also deals in antiques of the modern era, which is predominantly arts and crafts through mid-20th century. For eight years, he had an antique store on Bridge Street in Springfield until the Entertainment District drove up prices and drove away buyers.
Allen landed at the Adult Center on June 1, 2010. We are so lucky to have him.
[reprinted from The Voice of Longmeadow newsletter/ Longmeadow Adult Center, April 2013]