Craig Botterill has a lot to smile about and celebrate these days. The Chef Manager at BlueCross Gardenia aged care residence in Chelsea, Victoria, recently received the OSCARS Recognition of Excellence award by the OSCAR Care Group.
The OSCARS Recognition of Excellence program celebrates the work of staff in the Aged Care, Retirement Living, Childcare & Hospitality industries throughout Australia.
Craig, who has over 40 years of culinary experience, was humbled by the recognition for his excellence as a highly-skilled, experienced and dedicated Chef.
The award also recognises Craig’s leadership skills, leading and inspiring his team in providing superior quality, delicious and nutritious meals with great experiences for residents.
“It’s exciting to get an award for something I’m very passionate about. Working with a fantastic team in BlueCross has continued to bring out the best in me,” said Craig who has been Chef Manager at BlueCross Gardenia for six years.
Being Head Chef at BlueCross has given him the opportunity to create new menu designs and provide quality, nutritious and tasty meals for residents – something that Craig is extremely proud of.
With his vast experience, he has also brought added professionalism to the kitchen team at Gardenia, with a focus on procedures, cleaning and compliance.
Craig believes in creating a collaborative work environment for this team and can be seen sharing a chat or laugh with them throughout the day while getting their work done to the highest standards.
“It’s important to work hard and maintain the best standards but also keep the kitchen environment light-hearted”.
How it all started
Craig’s interest in cooking started in his early teens, helping his mum prepare meals for the family. He went on to complete a cooking apprenticeship in 1980 and perfected his culinary skills working in hotels in South Melbourne.
Craig proudly recounted one of his most memorable experiences, “While working as Head Chef for Royal Melbourne Golf Course, I catered for VIPs including George Bush, Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus at the prestigious President’s Cup. Hilariously, I caught George Bush helping himself to the buffet at 11.30 am!”
Later, Craig worked at Macarthur River Mine in NT, serving meals to 760 hungry miners every day!
Working in the aged care sector now, he continues to use his Chef talents and experiences to create superior dining experiences for residents at BlueCross Gardenia.
Craig ensures the menu caters to the different cultures and tastebuds of his diverse residents. One of the most popular initiatives he has instigated at the home includes International Meal Days, featuring cuisines of different cultures including Dutch, German and American.
Outside of work, Craig’s passions include surfing, fishing and boating, and he has kindly
taken groups of residents out on his boat for a joy ride on numerous occasions on the Patterson River.
The accomplished Chef is also proud to continue the great family tradition of cooking for the family, including his wife, two sons and his new grandson.
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