Chef Wayne Brings Military Standards and a Passion for Good Food into a Holiday Retirement Kitchen
Chef Wayne likes to keep a clean kitchen. So clean, in fact, that this chef at New England Club in Cincinnati, Ohio, was recently honored for keeping one of the cleanest kitchens in the region.The Department of Public Health in Hamilton County, Ohio, where New England Club is located, awards Clean Kitchen Awards on a monthly basis to food service operators and retail food establishments who have met the highest standards for cleanliness and food safety for two consecutive years. New England Club was honored in February 2014.
Chef Wayne is certainly no stranger to keeping a clean kitchen. Before joining Holiday Retirement 10 years ago, he was a 94 Bravo, or food service specialist, for the U.S. Army. While cooking for armed forces on a military base in Germany, the importance of cleanliness and food safety was, in his words, “drilled into” him.
He brings his military standards into the kitchen every day at New England Club – and his entire food service team has become a part of the cleanliness mission.
“Don’t worry how you find it; worry how you leave it,” is Chef Wayne’s mantra.
On any given day, at any given time, Chef Wayne calls a clean up timeout. He picks one section of the kitchen, and his team spends 10 minutes cleaning it from top to bottom. The team rotates the section that is cleaned so that each area of the kitchen gets a deep clean on an ongoing basis.
This process is so ingrained into the New England Club daily routine that Chef Wayne knows that, even if he takes a day off, another member of his team will call a clean up timeout.
Passion for Good Food
Chef Wayne’s entre into the Army was a little bit different than most recruits’. He told the recruiter that he wanted to join up, but only if he could be a chef. Since this was an occupational specialty they usually had to assign to recruits, the military recruiters enthusiastically agreed.
Chef Wayne’s passion for good food was deeply rooted in him from an early age. During his childhood, his family owned several BBQ-style restaurants in Washington, D.C. He has had an appetite for cooking and serving good food his entire life.
“I can’t build a house or fix a car, but I know food,” he said.
Philosophy of Putting Customer Service First
The doors to the New England Club kitchen are always open. Chef Wayne invites residents to visit the kitchen at any time. He believes it is important for residents to know that the food they are eating is not only delicious, but also prepared in an environment that meets the highest standards for cleanliness and food safety.
Chef Wayne credits his team for maintaining such rigorous standards on an ongoing basis.
“The award does not represent just me; it represents the entire kitchen staff and their effort. Without the kitchen staff and their positive attitudes, extraordinary work effort and attention to detail, this award would not have been possible,” said Chef Wayne.
The residents of New England Club are thrilled that Chef Wayne’s kitchen has earned this designation and proud that they live in a community that has earned recognition from the local community.
Chef Wayne’s commitment to exceptional food service is just one more example of the “Holiday Touch” in action.
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