From ice carving, to fruit carving, to patisserie–there’s nothing Kara Terreault-Triplett can’t do.
As the Culinary Services Manager and head of the dining and culinary department, Kara oversees the kitchen and dining rooms for Waltonwood Cherry Hill. Before she joined our team in December of 2018, she worked as a private chef, banquet chef, and she even spent a little time in health care.
But, craving to know her clientele better, she made the switch to senior living–an industry that perfectly marries all of her prior experience.
We sat down with Kara to find out about her start in the industry and what she loves about working at Singh. Here’s what she said!
When did you know you wanted to work in culinary/food?
I’ve always loved food. I actually started my college career in nursing and did that for a few years and decided that it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I had always been interested in food and grew up with family that did a lot of dinners and special events, so I decided to go to culinary school. That was really where I learned my passion for food and all things culinary. I explored all of those things and was really glad that I had found a career that doesn’t feel like work.
Why should an interested candidate join your team?
The work-life balance is much better than it would be for a restaurant or even a club chef. You’re still doing really great food and you work with really great ingredients and you have the support of a regional, but you also do have some freedom–it’s really nice to have that.
Is there anyone on your team or at Singh that inspires you to be better?
Oh yeah, every single person! The kitchen staff, service staff, and supervisors that were here prior–while my position was vacant–all came together and continued to function without a director of culinary. They work hard every day, they enjoy their job, and we have a lot of fun doing what we do.
I’ve come into a lot of different positions where the staff is not welcoming and they’re not happy, Singh was by far the best transition into a kitchen I’ve ever had, and it really speaks to the employees; they show up to work every day and they are excited to learn. We just started a new menu and they are like, “yeah let’s do this!” and we just did a huge event here for the Taste of Waltonwood. They really just shine, they put their own personal twist on things, but also take well to demonstrations and learning new skills. I really enjoy being surrounded by people that like to learn on a daily basis because I’m also one of those people.
What advice would you offer new employees?
If you’ve never looked into senior living you definitely should. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine being here–I was actually sought out on LinkedIn by one of their recruiters and I had no idea that this world existed. I always equated it in my mind to a hospital, but I never really understood senior living and I never really thought about what independent living was or the services that are provided. I would say if you’re coming into it and not knowing, then it’s a great place to look. I have a lot of friends and old coworkers who are like, “what are you doing there?” and I say, “you have no idea, it’s amazing, there so many opportunities here”. It’s really nice to work with a team that has a common goal and it makes everything work really well.
I would also say that it’s not what a lot of people think it would be, you’re still doing state-of-the-art things, you’re still using different cooking methods, you’re using really great products and available resources at your disposal, so as a chef those things really stand out.
Are you a team player who loves food and taking care of others? Apply today and join our team!