How does BlueCross prepare over 10,000 meals and snacks a day?

Food is an important part of life. From sharing a meal with family and friends, to enjoying a few drinks to mark a special occasion, food will always have a special place in our hearts. At BlueCross, we understand this and believe in the positive impact of providing quality food choices.
 
All BlueCross residences’ kitchens are run by our team of dedicated hospitality staff, who are passionate about delivering delicious and healthy meal options. Across Melbourne, we have more than 390 hospitality staff who serve in excess of 10,000 meals and snacks a day. This is all whilst delivering exceptional service to all 1700 residents who choose to live with us.
 
So what’s the recipe for great hospitality services? 
 
It’s a combination of some special ingredients that make the BlueCross hospitality team so unique. These include:  
 
Passion for what we do 
 
Hospitality Manager, Liz Goldsmith, says, ‘In everything that we do, we aim to make the residents day. Delicious and nutritious meal options are very important but what I think makes BlueCross so special is that our catering staff always provide service with a smile. Often we are the first people to greet residents in the morning, we have a very important role in keeping the residents happy and healthy.’
 
Our newest Chef Manager at BlueCross Ivanhoe, Vanessa Monkcom, shared her passion for what she does. ‘I’ve worked in many areas of hospitality with the inclusion of my own business for nine years. I ran my own cooking school specialising in vegetarian dinner parties, as well as volunteering to teach new Australians basic cooking skills. It is an incredibly rewarding feeling to connect people through food, it’s just a wonderful thing.’ 
 
 BlueCross hospitality
 
Listening and learning
 
Residents and family are invited to take part in regular menu assessments and food forums that are held at all BlueCross residences. This feedback is then used to improve our food services as well as help plan and update our menus. 
 
In addition to listening to feedback from residents and family, Liz said ‘I also organise regular chef training days. Recently we had training at Olivigna in Warrandyte, where our Chef Managers learnt to cook authentic Italian cuisine, because who doesn’t love lasagna and pana cotta?’ 
 
Other industry training and tours include cake and dessert decorating training, visits to suppliers like SPC, Nestle and more.  
 
 Cake decorating training
 
Choosing quality produce 
 
At BlueCross, we only choose suppliers that meet our strict quality food standards. We take our food seriously and know that it all starts with quality ingredients, and by working with seasonal produce we know our menus will continue to be fresh and interesting for our residents. 
 
Award-winning Chef Manager at BlueCross Scotchmans Creek, Nick Pantelopoulos, says the secret to getting dozens of compliments a day on his food is simple. ‘Every day we’re receiving fresh produce to cook with, this is a very important step in creating delicious meals. It’s then up to our experienced hospitality team to create beautiful meals for our residents to enjoy. We have 130 people who live with us at BlueCross Scotchmans Creek, so we’re always creating different options to suit different preferences.’ 
 
fresh produce
 
Ivanhoe Chef Manager, Vanessa’s recipe of the month
 
Orange Coconut crisps
 
Ingredients: 
1 ¼ cups of castor sugar
1 cup of self-raising flour
Rind of 1 orange
125 g melted butter
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons of orange juice 
Desiccated coconut 
 
Method:
Place the flour, orange rind and sugar into a bowl. Stir in butter yolk and juice. Roll into balls then roll in coconut. Place balls onto a lined baking tray and press down lightly. Bake at 175 degree Celsius for 10-12 minutes. Cool on tray and store in an airtight container to be shared with friends and family.
 

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