Pastry chef turned centre cook serves up the best
Cooking for up to 800 people at a time in the Australian Navy has more than prepared Goodstart Carrum Downs Frankston Dandenong Road
centre cook Samantha Slaven for the rigours of catering for hungry children every day.
The qualified pastry chef, turned centre cook started her career in aged care before jumping into Navy life where she was the pastry chef at the Victorian naval base HMAS Cerberus- responsible for supplying the daily desert servings to up to 800 naval officers.
Mrs Slaven used to make more than 200 litres of custard a week!
Turning her hand to the childcare industry means she now caters to the developing minds and growing bodies of children – supporting her centre to focus on how good food can fuel brain develop.
“Good food is so important for children and introducing them to health and nutrition from an early age is vital,” she said.
While she still loves creating deserts and other foods for the children in her centre, Mrs Slaven said she will always substitute ingredients for healthier alternatives- ensuring the children at Carrum Downs Frankston Dandenong Road are always eating the most nutritious and nourishing meals possible.
The children are raving about her tasty treats, with some of their favourites including porridge, homemade pizzas, chicken soup, orange cake and date scones.
Parents are also lining up to sample the daily fare. In fact, at a recent Mother’s Day event, more than 80 per cent of families attended to enjoy the menu, which included cheese cake, date scones and sponge cake with jam and cream- all created by the former pastry chef.
“I hear there were a lot of very happy mums at that event,” she said.
Centre director Mona Aragon said the centre’s focus on good food is paying off, recently being awarded with a food safety award from the Frankston City Council.
She said parents were also loving their children’s newfound love of food.
“Since we have had such a strong focus on healthy foods, we’ve had a lot of parent feedback about how well their children are eating and how interested they are in different kinds of foods.”
Parents also have access to a community pantry which includes recipes and ingredients.