Cooee Lodge Hostel commenced operations of the new Kitchen in the main wing over the weekend (22/23 Febraury 2020).
As published in the Gilgandra Weekly, Tuesday February 18, 2020.
Residents of Cooee Lodge will get their first taste of their brand-new kitchen facilities this week. Gilgandra councillors and staff toured the new state of the art kitchen last Friday (15/02/2020).
Gilgandra Shire Council’s (GSC) project manager Brian Irvin, said everything has been replaced in the kitchen upgrade. “We have all new facilities - new walk-in freezer and cool room, extended dry store, new power for the new equipment - everything at commercial grade,” he said. “We have been really happy with the project and it will serve Cooee Lodge very well. Staff have also been involved with the project from the beginning, with planning, design and installation.”
The new kitchen facility features new dishwashers, stainless steel benches, warmers, various cooking machines including an automatic lifting Bratt Pan and a warm/cold trolley unit for delivery around the lodge. The new design also gives staff an improved workflow and maintains a high-level of hygiene.
The Cooee Lodge kitchen can cater for up to 50 residents, three meals and two snack times a day. Assistant manager Narelle Rodway said the catering staff have already undertaken training for the new equipment, but they will have follow up sessions with a professional chef to further enhance their catering options for residents.
While the kitchen was being upgraded catering supervisor Karen Thiele said the lodge utilised Meals on Wheels and a temporary cooking station based in a meeting room. “We have over a dozen staff on catering duties and they are excited about the new kitchen. Meals on Wheels has been fantastic, and we had a temporary cool room set up outside as well,” she said.
GSC will official open the kitchen at a later date, as works are still continuing at the lodge; the Special Care Wing kitchen is next to be upgraded.
The total project at Cooee Lodge is expected to cost around $590,000 with $110,000 funded from Cooee Lodge and $488,000 from (insert grant name). The new facilities will also give the lodge another great selling point for potential residents.
The main kitchen will open for meals sometime this week after the final food safety and electrical assessment is conducted.
Karen Thiele (Cooee Lodge catering supervisor), Brian Irvin (Gilgandra Shire Council project manager), Narelle Rodway (Cooee Lodge assistant manager) councillor Ashley Walker, GSC general manager David Neeves and mayor Doug Batten tour the new kitchen facility at Cooee Lodge Friday, February 14, 2020.