The OSCARS Recognition of Excellence: Annette McCurdy
Updated: May 2, 2022
We are delighted to introduce Annette McCurdy, Head Chef Supervisor at Japara Balmoral Grove in Victoria and recipient of The OSCARS Recognition of Excellence program.
OSCAR Care Group recognises Annette’s excellence in Aged Care cooking and her jovial attitude while leading her team to provide fantastic meals.
Annette loves working with the elderly
In the 1960’s, Annette was living in Melbourne, working hard as a Secretary for a Law Firm. Knowing that she loved the elderly, she enthusiastically changed careers when an opportunity arose in a nursing home. This led to a life change, where she and her husband Robert bought an Aged Care facility in Geelong which they ran together for 30 years! They were raising their two children, Aaron & Andrea, and the residents loved them! After selling their business, Annette joined the team at Japara.
This is her 10th year with the organisation!
Japara supported Annette in achieving her Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery, and she is proudly now Head Chef Supervisor.
Annette says, “my parents come from both an Italian & Australian background, and this has influenced many of my culinary dishes”. She knows how important food styles are to identity, and specially cooks cultural foods for residents at Japara. Annette is happy to make the fried, buttery snacks for one Dutch resident, while another Indian resident loves that Annette will cook her rice with most meals!
A humble, hard-working Head Chef Supervisor
Annette says “We are only as good as the Team!
After 10 years with the Kitchen Team cooking for the 110 Residents at Japara Balmoral Grove, Annette has made many work friends and values each of them. She humbly credits her workmates with continually motivating her excellent work ethos.
Part of her role as Head Chef Supervisor that Annette enjoys is training new staff. She is also inspired by the visits and ongoing coaching that the team receives from their Area Manager, Doug Gillan. Annette says that one outstanding element of working for Japara is the organisation’s great communication with Staff.
Dietary Requirements Focus
While ensuring that each meal is well-presented for the Residents, Annette also takes care of their dietary requirements. She prepares meals for those who require texture modified diets according to IDDSI guidelines, and carefully ensures allergens are managed too.
Annette specially prepares gluten-free meals for those who need them, sharing “These residents deserve to receive the same menu as everyone else, so we provide them with the same meals, just prepared differently for their allergies.”
Glowing feedback from her Employers
“Annette has been the Head Chef Supervisor at Balmoral Grove for the past 10 years and always goes out of her way to help residents and staff with any Catering concerns or special dietary requests that they have on a daily basis. Annette developed a special vegetarian menu some time back which offers residents a good choice of vegetarian options at both Lunch & Dinner which was well received at Balmoral Grove. Balmoral Grove had some issues with meal temperatures 12 months ago and with Annette working closely with Gayle (Home Manager) Scan boxes were introduced and the tray service model changed to Care staff serving the hot meals from the scan boxes located in each wing. This system fixed the problem and is still running smoothly today.” Douglas Gillan, Japara, Regional Hospitality Manager