The OSCARS Recognition of Excellence: Gloria Andriolas
Updated: May 2, 2022
We are delighted to introduce Gloria Andriolas from Fronditha Care in St Albans, recipient of The OSCARS Recognition of Excellence program.
OSCAR Care Group recognises Gloria’s excellent skill and commitment in creating nutritious and delicious culturally sensitive meals for her second family of predominantly Greek residents at Fronditha Care in St Albans, Vic. She has been Head Chef for 3 years.
Gloria grew up on the island of Evoia, near Athens in Greece. She gained her knowledge of and interest in Mediterranean cuisine when she was 12, helping her mother prepare meals for their family of seven. Gloria says she “loved learning new recipes for the family and working with different ingredients!”
Gloria cooked in restaurants in Greece for 10 years, then became Chef’s assistant in the Hospital of Halkida. She later moved to Australia where she completed Cert III in commercial cookery, and started working in Aged Care.
Gloria and her husband Spiros have 4 children, Tasos, Katerina, Nick & Erica. She loves that they all cook different recipes and prepare meals for her to have the night off cooking sometimes!
Gloria says, “I have a large family and enjoy cooking a variety of different foods to please everyone, so cooking for elderly in an Aged Care home feels like home, like feeding my own family.”
Gloria inspires her Team!
Renia Georgiou, Support Services Coordinator, says, “Gloria’s caring character, exceptional cooking and creativity, render her an outstanding leader and colleague. Gloria ensures that residents’ needs are met and listens respectfully to their preferences and life stories. It’s inspiring that even in such a demanding environment, Gloria wants her team members to develop new skills, explore new opportunities, and strive for excellence.”
Reminiscing about her previous experience cooking in restaurants, Gloria says that the only negative part was that kitchen staff don’t get to know the guests.
“I enjoy the relationships and bonding that Aged care allows me to form with residents and their families and my goal is to ensure residents have access to any meal or treat they desire.”
Gloria inspires a great Team spirit at Fronditha Care and brings her kitchen management skills and experience to her role as Head Chef. Some of the staff have worked there for up to ten years.
Positive feedback from her Team and Residents is very important to Gloria. She is very grateful for the leaders and Team she has the pleasure of working with. “I want to say a big thank you to Renia and Sue for all their support. Our great management team makes it easier to do more for residents.
How Gloria faces challenges in Aged Care
Preparing textured modified meals is complicated but at the same time Gloria is very confident with the process. Adjusting to IDDSI was a challenging task that she and her team have implemented effectively, as a result of hard work, lots of practise and continuous testing.
Talking daily to the residents after lunch, Gloria listens to their feedback about their individual requests for different ways of cooking. She has recently formed a recipe group with residents from different regions of Greece and discussed different recipes. Her next goal is to dedicate a day of each month showcasing foods from a different region every time. Gloria loves their joy when they taste foods from their childhood and say “You made this just like my Mum!”
A big part of the Greek culture is sharing food with your family and COVID19 took that away from us for some time. Gloria and her Team overcame the challenge, managing to find alternatives to maintain the sense of family & community in their dining tables. They share their residents’ concerns for the health & welfare of family and friends back in Greece. Gloria sends love to all her family!
Gloria learned her signature dish, Tsoureki, from her grandmother. “Easter is one of my favourite Greek celebrations. This a tradition I grew up with and I still celebrate with my family. Therefore, I really enjoy making tsoureki. Tsoureki is a sweet bread that is traditionally served on Easter Sunday, after the lent.”
The residents at Fronditha Care in St Albans love this delicious treat, and they enjoy making the traditional Greek Easter red boiled eggs with the Lifestyle Staff, remembering past Easters in Greece.
Gloria’s Signature Dish, “Tsoureki” Recipe
1tsp ground cardamon
10g ground mastic (tears of Chios)
2kg plain flour
10 free range eggs
2 ½ cups melted butter, lukewarm
3 1/3 cups sugar
200g dried yeast
1 cup full cream milk
2 tsp virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
In a cup of lukewarm water add the yeast and 4 tablespoons of the flour. Stir and set aside for the yeast to be activated.
In the mixer bowl beat with paddle all wet ingredients, except from butter, on slow speed for approximately 10 minutes or until sugar has dissolved.
In a separate bowl, mix the remaining dry ingredients.
Once yeast is activated, add the yeast mix to the wet ingredients, mix & start kneading with the hook on slow speed until combined.
Add dry mix slowly until fully incorporated.
Add melted lukewarm butter and keep kneading until a dough is formed. Cover and set aside until double in size.
Divide into desired size and plait pieces together. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper & set aside until double in size.
Preheat oven to 220C. Brush tsoureki with eggwash, sprinkle with almond flakes and bake at 220C for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 180C and bake for 20 minutes, until golden and cooked through.