Chris Singer, Cook’s Assistant at Anthony Wilding Retirement Village, didn’t plan on being a chef when he was younger.
“I sort of fell into it,” he says smiling.
Chris’s Ryman journey started at an early age in 2008. His mother, Nicki, was an Activities Coordinator at the village and she suggested he start working part time to earn some money and experience.
“I helped out here and there with activities. I looked around for more stuff to do and that’s how I got into the kitchen,” says Chris.
He started working in the kitchen as a kitchen hand, helping to prep for the next day. After that Chris left and when he finished school he returned to Anthony Wilding again as a kitchen hand.
Chris slowly worked his way up and started to develop an interested in learning more cooking skills, so that he could improve.
His drive and enthusiasm caught the attention of the head chef and Chris’ name was put forward for an apprenticeship.
The apprenticeship is normally three years and involves completing several subjects every two to three months. Once these have been completed Chris will graduate and become a chef.
Chris started his apprenticeship at the start of the year and is enjoying the journey so far. He has learned not only how to run a kitchen but has also gained an understanding of just what it means to be in charge of the Anthony Wilding kitchen by being chef two days a week. This is valuable experience for the chef-to-be.
“The opportunities are great. For what I came in as, and what I am now, I’d say that is the best indicator of opportunities here,” says Chris.
“I’d definitely encourage people to apply for jobs here. It’s been great for me.”
Chris has now been working for Anthony Wilding and Ryman, for more than 10 years. The highlights for him have been the events held at the village, especially Anthony Wilding’s 10-year anniversary.
He also likes to help serve residents at meal times when there is a need for an extra hand.
“If you hear that something tastes good it makes you feel good and that motivates you to work harder,” he says.
“Back when I used to help out [outside of the kitchen] I loved interacting with residents and now when we need help serving most of them still know me. Which is great!”
Chris says he has a lot more to learn, but he is happy to continue working hard to achieve his dreams.