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August 18, 2023

Vitalia Stow Culinary Director Appreciates Their Mentor for Inspiration

Category: Senior Living

Author: Nick Stromack, 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 Vitalia Stow.

The person most instrumental in my personal growth and drive in the culinary field is Chef John Kolar. I met Chef John when he hired me to work at his fine dining restaurant, Thyme2, in Medina, OH. We have worked together for ten years and counting, seeing each other once a week on average.

A mentor, to me, is someone who carefully teaches you everything they know about any type of skill – job, life, and in this case knife. A mentor is also also cares about your growth professionally.

If I had to create one dish that best represents my Chef John, it would be his signature dish of macadamia nut crusted grouper served with black Chinese rice, a vegetable spring roll, and a lemon Beurre Blanc.

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.

VITALIA® Stow in Stow, OH offers senior villas, independent apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include 1804 Restaurant, a 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Conveniently located just off of Hwy 8 at E Steels Corners Road near Akron General Health & Wellness Center with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Fox Den Golf Course, Summit Mall, Bike & Hike – Summit Metro Parks, Stan Hywet, Hale Farm, and Blossom Music Center.

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