The OSCARS Recognition of Excellence: Manos Anagnostopoulos
Updated: May 2
We are delighted to introduce you to Head Chef Manos Anagnostopoulos, from Fronditha Care’s Thornbury facility and recipient of The OSCARS Recognition of Excellence program.
OSCAR Care Group recognises Manos as an innovative & enthusiastic Chef, who uses his great culinary skills to create delicious meals modified for residents’ varied tastes while managing his team in an environmentally friendly kitchen.
Traditional Greek cooking shared through his family
From a young age, Manos learned cooking by shadowing his grandfather who was a recognised chef. “He was always my biggest fan and toughest critic. That made me love and appreciate cooking and want to follow in his steps.” Manos passed his love of coking on to his son Miltos, teaching him to make pizza dough. After years as a sous chef in hotels and restaurants in Northern Greece, Manos moved to Australia with his delightful wife Polina, who is a self-confessed foodie who loves his cooking!
From restaurants to Aged Care Chef
For two years, Manos has been Head Chef at Fronditha Care in Thornbury, where he and his team prepare daily meals for 120 residents. He has found the move from restaurants to Aged Care a challenge, but deeply rewarding. He shares, “Working in Aged Care was a significant change for me, I try to get the best results whether in taste, presentation, aroma, or adhering to the IDDSI guidelines. I love that it’s more personal as we know the residents.”
Modifying meals for residents’ tastes
Manos shares that one of his aims when he started working in Aged Care was to “ultimately gain the residents’ trust and approval.” He knows all of the residents at Fronditha Care in Thornbury by name and even takes the time to learn how they prefer their dishes. The residents spent much of their lives cooking for themselves or their families, and often want meals to taste a certain way.
Manos displays his meal notes for each resident on large kitchen note boards. For example, when making a Mediterranean soup, Manos modifies 3 pots; one for those who like it thicker, one with extra meatballs and one with extra rice. He knows that when residents enjoy their meals, the risk of malnutrition is reduced.
Traditional Greek meals and Aussie events
Manos has learned to modify his traditional Greek meals until they are perfect and then trains his team. Most of his residents clearly remember their Greek meals, but have also lived in Australia for many years.
He says that “living and working in Australia has opened a window of multicultural experiences, of the traditional Aussie dishes I endeavour to learn and prepare for our residents when we celebrate our national days such as Australia Day and ANZAC Day.”
“Manos is a highly qualified chef, with tremendous cooking nous and the ability to meet any consumer catering requirement while leading a great team.” Peter Thiveos, Hospitality Manager at Fronditha Care
Innovations & improvements by Manos
Manos entertains and inspires residents with live cooking demonstration classes. He shares stories about the recipes and how he learned them back in Greece. His goal is to make this a permanent and interactive activity with the residents.
When Manos took charge of his 12-team kitchen, his main goal and focus was to have a unified team, that respected and got along with each other. He says proudly “I believe we have accomplished this and are united as a team.”
Manos is focused on getting a perfect meal result every time because through his cooking he gives the residents joy, health and satisfaction.
Looking after the environment is important to Manos, and he believes in making his kitchen more sustainable. One method is by targeting zero food wastage. He orders precisely what is needed by calculating every portion perfectly. He chooses to use kitchen appliances that are more energy efficient. These innovations reduce the kitchen’s footprint on the environment, while also saving money.
Prawn Risoni Recipe
250gr medium Risoni
20- 24 large prawns*
1 medium leak
2 red long capsicum
60ml extra virgin olive oil
60gr unsalted butter
400ml tomato puree
100ml dry white whine
½ teaspoon garlic paste
1.5lrs of broth (from the heads
of the prawns)
Salt and pepper
* This dish was served at a corporate function. Prawns must be deshelled for vulnerable people including the elderly and children.
Boil the heads of the prawns in 1.5ltrs of water with a pinch of salt for 10min. Strain the heads and keep the broth.
Take the shell off and clean the prawns.
Dice the onion, cut the leak and the capsicums in small rings.
The whole cooking time before the prawns are added takes 20min and the procedure is similar to cooking risotto.
Take a wok or a deep cooking pan put the butter and the oil, add the diced onion, the garlic the leak and the capsicums, stir for about 3min.
Add the risoni, turn the temperature to high and stir for 1min.
Add two big spoons of broth and stir, add the wine and stir, add two more big spoons of broth, once the juices are absorbed add the tomato puree, stir.
Add salt and pepper.
Continue to add broth and stir continuously.
2min before the risoni is ready we add the prawns on top, 1min on each side and we turn the heat off.
We let it sit for two min before serving.
Serve with fresh ground pepper and fresh cut coriander or parsley.