Impactful Culinary Career Paths in Senior Care

With several roles and varying levels of skill and responsibility to choose from, a culinary career in senior care is a worthwhile consideration for many people. The senior care setting offers a great training ground to gain experience and education for anyone interested in exploring a future in culinary or the field of nutrition.

With little to no prior experience, you can test the water as a culinary aide and learn from the ground up. The role of a culinary aide typically consists of serving residents, either in a dining room or with meal service to their rooms, as well as bussing of tables and dishwashing.

Maybe you already have some food service experience from a restaurant or an institutional setting such as a school, a hospital or in senior care. With as little as six months of experience, you can become a culinary cook in senior care, an exciting role where you learn to prepare food and modify dishes for specific nutritional needs. This role also offers education in safe food handling and more. Many culinary job settings offer training and certifications, enabling employees to continue their education and grow their careers while they are on the job.

One such role is certified dietary manager, where your experience and education afford you greater input and responsibility as you expand your culinary career. As a culinary manager, you gain skill and experience, menu-planning and budgeting, as well as scheduling and mentoring your kitchen staff.

An entry-level role in culinary as a dishwasher has led to a gratifying career for Karen Powell, today she is a Registered Dietitian and Director of Nutrition at American Senior Communities, the largest senior healthcare provider in Indiana. “One of the most satisfying aspects of my career is helping our team members develop their skill sets and watching them grow. I love seeing peoples’ passion unfold as they move upward, often to become culinary managers.”

While culinary offers several roles and various opportunities for education and career development, they all have an important thing in common; as a culinary team member, you take part in enhancing the culture of a senior care community and brightening the day for its residents by creating a healthy and wholesome dining experience. If that sounds like a satisfying day on the job, then a career as part of a senior care culinary team may be a great fit for you. For more information on a career with ASC, visit

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