Paddock-to-the-plate cooking the magic ingredient to Glengara Care’s fine fare

March 1, 2021

Glengara Care Chef Craig

With vegetables regularly plucked straight from our own community gardens, the menu doesn’t come any fresher than at Glengara Care.

Our Executive Chef Craig Etches is a passionate foodie and is leading the way with his paddock-to-the-plate approach to cooking.

“It’s all about using the best high quality ingredients,’’ said Craig, who has made it his personal mission to offer residents dishes that “could hold their own at any of the Central Coast’s fine dining establishments’’.

The produce from Glengara Care’s thriving vegetable garden, tended by residents from the broader Glengara Retirement Village, is his magic ingredient.

“I use whatever is in season, whether that’s tomatoes, zucchinis, strawberries, rhubarb or any number of different herbs straight from the patch.

“I love it not only because of the richer flavours, but because I get to be creative with whatever crops I have at hand each day.’’

His enthusiasm is shared by Glengara Retirement Village’s Garden Group.

Resident Darrol Harmer, who has been a keen vegetable gardener for many years, said being able to produce fresh crops for Glengara Care residents had been a source of pride.

“It’s great to see a chef using the vegie patch, and for us, it has been a very satisfying arrangement,’’ he said.

Homegrown vegies is not the only thing setting the food apart however.

Craig also loves talking to residents to find out what they’d like to see in the menu.

“Making residents happy is my favourite part of the job,” he said. “I see them every day and follow up on every single meal.

“Making their day and seeing their faces as they enjoy my food is the best.”

Craig knows every resident by name and sits down with them each month to get their feedback, tailoring the menu to account for individual preferences and dietary needs.

Bringing extensive international experience to the table

Having worked in restaurants all over the world in a career spanning 26 years, Craig definitely knows his way around a kitchen!

While he began his apprenticeship at the former Rydges Wentworth in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, he has travelled extensively throughout Asia, the UK and America, all the while honing his skills.

“For about five years I worked six months in Australia then six months overseas,” he said.

“Because I have a particular personal interest in Asian cooking, I have been to Thailand 16 times as well as places such as Vietnam and Laos learning their authentic styles.

“I have been fortunate to have learnt so much on my trips and I like to bring that experience to Glengara Care.’’

Craig says that while creating the best flavours was important, the art to successful cooking is also about creating the right environment and presenting food in an appealing manner.

“It’s hard to over-estimate the importance of presentation because we all eat with our eyes,’’ he said.

“Friday afternoon barbecues after happy hour is one of the favourite times of the week for everyone at Glengara Care. We open up the bi-fold doors of the lounge after happy hour, put up the umbrellas and let the sun stream in to create the most magical atmosphere.’’

Time for a taste of a new approach to aged care

The meals aren’t the only thing that set Glengara Care apart.

We offer nursing home level of care on your own terms – which means you can move into Glengara Care with your partner. You can even bring a pet!

Your apartment is your own private space, with a separate bedroom, bathroom, lounge, kitchenette, dining area and outdoor space.

With a personalised care plan for each resident, support will always be available to you no matter how your needs change.

To find out more, call our helpful staff on 1800 955 070 or enquire here.

Related articles


Need more information? Talk to one of our friendly team members today.