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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.

CedarStone Senior Living is a comprehensive community offering independent living plus, assisted living, and memory care, accompanied by an array of services and floor plan options. Our amenities include upscale restaurant dining, a 24-hour bistro, housekeeping services, a vibrant calendar of events and entertainment, personalized care, convenient transportation options, inviting outdoor dining spaces and patios, a salon and barber shop, and much more. Nestled in the heart of the Greenhill Village Estates neighborhood, our community enjoys a tranquil yet well-connected setting, surrounded by the beauty of Greenhill Park, gardens, and golf courses. In addition to providing a serene environment, our location offers easy access to a plethora of outdoor activities and dining experiences. Plus, we’re conveniently close to top-tier medical and professional services. With our prime location, every excursion can transform into an adventure. Explore the charm of Main Street shopping, delve into local history at museums and historical events, or immerse yourself in the excitement of live theater performances. CedarStone Senior Living is at the center of the city’s cultural pulse, offering residents a vibrant and fulfilling lifestyle. 

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