Clarence Watson is a Cook Supervisor at Crosslands. Clarence started working at Kendal-Crosslands Communities (KCC) while he was attending nearby Avon Grove High School, starting off helping in the dish room, and then doing meal prep and serving food at Kendal at Longwood. Over his 12 years at KCC, he’s worked in many positions, rising to Cook Supervisor.
Working in the Culinary Department
A Cook Supervisor has a lot of responsibilities. When he first arrives in the morning, he needs to turn on all the equipment in the kitchen and check to make sure everything is working well. He begins to make breakfast, and gets that served; then he needs to receive the day’s orders and check to make sure they order all the food needed. Feeding the Early Learning Center children and staff are on his ‘to do’ list as well as starting to get the lunch food out for residents and staff. Clarence also coordinates with the cooks in the Personal Care residences, so those teams have the food for their residents as well.
Each day, Clarence makes sure he is making breakfast, including eggs to order for 50 -60 people including residents and staff, and feeding 15-20 children from the Early Learning Center. There are 30 residents in the Personal Care residency and 60 residents in our Firbank skilled nursing residences that all need a meal prepared each morning. This process repeats for lunch! Before Clarence and his team can leave for the day, they do the prep work for the dinner team as well. At KCC, the dinner meal is the biggest of the day, doubling the amount of meals needed.
Special Event Catering, too!
Clarence is very busy and also helps with catering for special events across campus, for different departments, resident groups, and even large family meals when residents have family come to visit! As an example, the residents at our nearby Cartmel have a Friday “Wine & Cheese” get together, and Clarence has put together appetizers for them and arranged for it to be delivered. The food is excellent, and it really helps build community through these shared events that the residents just rave about! Clarence has also mastered making some special meals for people with dietary challenges and sensitivities- there is an alternative menu for people who have garlic and onion sensitivities, for example.
COVID precautions meant a big change for the culinary department, where they had to pivot from largely traditional buffet-style dining to pre-packaged meals and a change in the number of meals needed. Even as restrictions are easing, Clarence is keeping a close eye on needs, because many people still rely on grab and go meals.
Clarence clearly loves leading the team and teaching the younger people on staff about responsibility. His children have gotten jobs at KCC in Housekeeping and in the Cafe, and the family has been able to take advantage of the tuition assistance benefits to help pay for books while the kids go to college.
“We have new people who join KCC as a great place to work. I enjoy teaching them that we are all responsible for each other here. If someone finishes their tasks early, we can pitch in and help someone else who needs it, so we can all get out on time. If we learn to keep things organized and do the task right, we won’t have to go back and re-do it. It’s important to take pride in our work, and to support each other here- we’re a team.” Clarence said with obvious pride in his job, well done every day.
“I don’t get as much interaction with the residents now that I am a supervisor- much of my work is behind the scenes. But I do really enjoy adding a few special meals, including when we have outdoor grilling, and I love making soups.”
Anyone who has eaten at Kendal at Longwood or Crosslands knows you can taste the love in Clarence’s food. His care in his job makes the cafe and dining room operate efficiently, and deliciously, every day.
Culinary and Dining Jobs Available!
Clarence has had the opportunity to grow from entry level positions, to becoming a supervisor, and help nurture new team members along their own career paths as well. If you are looking for a job where you can work your way up and learn with caring mentors along the way, consider a job here at Kendal-Crosslands Communities- just click below to find out more about current openings!