My uncle was a caterer and chef. He passed away when I was 14 and left me his chef knives and cookbooks. He had travelled the world with his cooking and was someone I looked up to. I told him I would be a chef too.
I started my career at 14 as an apprentice in Melbourne. I worked for a British chef and the restaurant was well renowned. I then went to Stokehouse in St Kilda. Everyone wanted an apprenticeship there. I learnt from a Michelin Star chef, who was trained by Marco Pierre White (who trained Gordon Ramsay). It was hard and really challenging, but the experience opened up the keys to the city as I learnt the old-fashioned way.
Why did you decide to work in aged care?
COVID forced me to look at other options and get out of the restaurant game. I remembered some work experience I had in aged care when I was 14. I remembered the atmosphere and the food and why it put me off aged care. The smells were all hospitalised, no real flavour and all the powders and boosters they would use.
When COVID hit, I thought about which of my skills I could utilise. I started researching other chefs that had come from a fine dining background and moved into aged care, such as Maggie Beer. I heard about Infinite Care’s new Toowoomba facility and knew I could make really good food for their residents.
I started as their chef and now I am the National Hotel Services Manager. I oversee our food service in all the homes. When you walk into an Infinite Care dining room, you know through the presentation of the food, plates, uniforms, consistency of standards that we care about the meal experience. Food and mealtimes are important and we want our residents to enjoy the experience.