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August 18, 2023

Hudson Grande Senior Living Culinary Director Appreciates Their Mentor for Inspiration

Category: Senior Living

Author: Nick Tomlinson, Culinary Director

In a world where culinary masterpieces are pushing the boundaries of flavors and presentations, there exists an invaluable secret to culinary success, mentorship. Behind every chef’s triumph, there stands a guiding light, a culinary mentor, who ignited the flame of passion and drive, unlocking the true potential within a budding culinary enthusiast. A mentor can present oneself in a variety of ways. It may be hands-on cooking in the kitchen and guiding with culinary techniques, providing direction with passion, drive, and inspiration, or pushing the mentee through the tough days, knowing the outcome will be much greater. The person who can spark creativeness and help shape a culinarian’s journey from raw talent to culinary brilliance, creates the type of stories we love to share at Hudson Grande Senior Living.

The person most instrumental in my personal growth and drive in the culinary field is Aaron Ruggles. I was privileged to work along-side him for seven years and we continue to stay in touch through texts.

A mentor is someone that will take the time to train and enhance a skill set of the person they are mentoring. I thought I knew so much coming out of culinary school, but quickly found out I hadn’t even scratched the surface of some of the most basic things. Aaron taught me more than school ever could, from different recipes, styles of cooking, how to take risks (they didn’t always turn out), how to be a better chef all around, and how to become a leader in the kitchen.

If I had to create one dish that best represents my mentor, the dish that comes to mind is a slow smoked beef brisket, cumin-coriander roasted carrots, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, and his Wagyu beef meatloaf.

As we continue to push our creative menus and flavors, we can reflect on all the amazing culinary mentors out there who have dedicated their time, energy, and wisdom to help develop us as Culinary Directors, along with their teams. As the culinary world evolves, one thing remains constant, the torch of culinary mentorship will continue to shine and bring new, upcoming chefs into our communities. Let us celebrate this tradition by raising a toast to the mentors who enriched our lives, giving us the opportunity to taste their delectable creations.

PrairieStone Senior Living is a comprehensive community soon to be offering independent living plus, assisted living, and memory care, accompanied by an array of services and floor plan options. Our amenities include restaurant dining, outdoor and private dining, a 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, a salon and barber, transportation services, a patio and firepit, and more. Our community extends beyond our campus, providing residents with the opportunity to explore the local downtown area, featuring charming shops and restaurants. Nature enthusiasts can visit the picturesque George Wyth State Park for nature walks and birdwatching or enjoy the stunning scenery along the Cedar River. Cultural events and festivals, such as the Cedar Basin Jazz Festival and Sturgis Falls Celebration, offer even more opportunities for engagement. PrairieStone residents have convenient access to a wealth of adventures and activities, both within and outside the community.

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