Company: ARAMARK (Haldimand War Memorial Hospital & Edgewater Gardens Long-Term Care Campus)
Years worked in current role: 9 years
Years of experience in food industry: 14
In 300 characters or less describe your job:
Healthcare food services gives you the experience to work hands on with many different patients / residents. These are people here due to injury or declining health issues, you have to have graduated to work in healthcare food services. You have to have your Food Handler Training Certificate from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Cooking in healthcare is very particular, we follow therapeutic menu’s for different diets and textures (regular diets, diabetics, healthy hearts, gluten free, lactose, allergies etc.) Also, some residents having a variety of ailments making it challenging for them to eat certain food from a physical perspective. There are many factors to consider! The number one responsibility is making sure residents are happy and we provide a positive experience for them. I have a very rewarding job.
What are the top 3 characteristics you need to be good at your job:
Why did you decide to pursue a career in food?
I graduated from Niagara College with a diploma in Hotel & Restaurant Management and I was leaning more towards working in the Hotel industry. Then a position opened up in my local hospital and long-term care campus. I was offered the job, enrolled and completed the Food Service Worker course through Loyalist College. My goal was always to work in a management / leadership role and my Food Service Director encouraged and endorsed me to enroll in the Food Service & Nutrition Management course through HealthcareCAN (Canadian Healthcare Association). Today I have almost completed four of the six courses and can’t wait to see where my journey in food services takes me next!
Top 3 advice tips for students and new grads coming into the industry –
- Set goals and focus on the positive outcomes.
- Always take chances and learn from your mistakes.
- Listen to those who have experience in the industry as they may have valuable knowledge and skills to share with you. Also always jump at the chance to receive free educational experiences (webinars, food shows etc.)
Tell us why your Food Job Rocks?
My job rocks because I get to bring joy and happiness to those I cook and serve. It’s great to hear how something you cooked for them brighten their day, or how they are just happy to engage in some friendly conversation.
“Let food be your medicine” – Hippocrates
Let’s encourage and inspire a new generation of food industry professionals!