Village News

A culinary star

18 January 2024

Tracey Edwards in the kitchen

Metlifecare has dished up the recipe of success for Tracey Edwards – Pāpāmoa Beach Village’s newly qualified chef.

The talented 38-year-old started her career with Metlifecare as a kitchen hand at Somervale Village in 2017, and quickly developed a passion for the culinary arts.

“I’ve always known the basics when it comes to cooking, but once I got into the kitchen and saw how creative and inventive you can be, I was keen to learn more”, said Tracey.

Recognised for her talent, passion and dedication by her supervisor, Tracey was soon offered an opportunity to take on additional responsibilities and a cooking-based role within the kitchen. More time in the kitchen meant she was able to take on new culinary challenges, upskill her techniques and gain more experience.

With the support of Metlifecare and her new Pāpāmoa Beach Village team, she began an on-the-job training programme in 2021.

“Learning while being on the job was awesome. I’m a hands-on learner so that really supported my learning style, and what made it easier was the team I had around me too.”

This type of learning allowed Tracey to thrive in a practical environment and gain a deeper understanding of cooking methods and learn how a commercial kitchen operates, while also fine-tuning her skills in the kitchen. After two years of hard work and studying, Tracey recently completed her training and is now a fully qualified chef.

“I’ve had so much support from the team and being mentored by our kitchen manager, Stephen Barry, has been fantastic. He’s a bit of a legend around here so it’s great to be learning from the best!”

Residents at Pāpāmoa Beach Village are regularly delighted by the culinary creations delivered from the kitchen and feedback is always glowing. Village Manager, Polly Delfim says that compliments from residents about the food are constant!

“It’s not often a day passes by that I don’t have someone knock on my door to tell me about the fantastic food coming from our kitchen. Residents love everything from the extravagant meals at themed dinner nights, to the simple delights of fish and chip Friday’s – there’s a lot of love coming out of the kitchen here!”

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