A New Way for the Provision of Meals to Nutritionally at Risk Victorians
Community Chef is a unique and innovative local government-owned social enterprise that provides quality meals at affordable prices for people who are nutritionally at risk.
Recipes are developed and meals produced at an award-winning purpose-built kitchen in Altona, Melbourne, by a team of dedicated chefs and cooks. Their focus is the provision of nutritious, culturally sensitive and affordable meals that taste delicious and that meal recipients will enjoy and truly want to eat. Quality is uppermost and all meals comply or exceed government dietary requirements.
How Community Chef Began
Community Chef is the result of concerns expressed by Victorian local governments about long-term food security and nutritional wellbeing of older people and people with a disability. These concerns extended to food safety and the quality, variety and size of meal portions. Failure of the private market to provide suitable choice and quality, and the significant level of financial investment required by individual councils to meet food safety standards and upgrade existing kitchens, meant a new and long-term solution was critically needed.
In a ground-breaking move, 13 municipalities, from throughout Victoria, formed joint venture, Regional Kitchen Pty Ltd and became the drivers behind the development and construction of the state-of-the-art food production facility that is leased to Community Chef. The facility was specifically developed and designed for the secure supply of high-quality, low-cost meals that would be culturally relevant and fulfil the range of dietary requirements across all communities. The kitchen opened in December 2010 and now prepares and delivers more than 1.2Million meals a year to its 20 local government customer-shareholders as well as hospitals and residential aged care.
The Community Chef Kitchen:
The First of its Kind in Australia
Community Chef’s production kitchen was purpose-built by international award-winning architect Francois Tesniere. One of only five in the world and the first in Australia, the facility incorporates cutting-edge technology that ensures the highest standards of food safety, maximum efficiency and a superior work environment. The kitchen design is the recipient of four international awards.
Community Chef is HACCP accredited. Annual reviews are conducted with technical experts to revalidate and verify that food safety and quality remain effective. There is a commitment to continuous improvement and lean manufacturing practices.
Community Chef Meals:
Delicious, Nutritious, Affordable
Community Chef’s evolving and expanding product list offers lunch, dinner and snack menus and provides significant flexibility in tailoring orders to supplement in-house production or designing menus to meet specific needs.
Our full range currently comprises 54 soups, 244 mains, 39 side vegetable options, 78 main salads, 3 side salads, 91 desserts and 41 sandwich varieties. The product offering is seasonally rotated, four times per year, and has a four-week rotated cycle in each season. There is a 30 day shelf-life for most items, excluding sandwiches, salads and some cold desserts. Customers are spoilt for choice with our range including food to suit preferences for Anglo-Australia meals, Roasts, International cuisine, Vegetarian and Asian palates, Salads and Sandwiches. Special and complex dietary needs can be fully catered for, including texture modified meals and diabetic, low fat, low salt, high fibre and low protein meals. Halal, Kosher and gluten-free meals are offered through third party suppliers.
Community Chef Values:
Far More Than a Supplier of Meals
Community Chef’s unique, collaborative and solutions-focussed beginnings continue to underpin its business practices and guide its expansion across Melbourne and into rural and regional Victoria. The organisation is committed to identifying and delivering specific social, economic and financial benefits to broader communities. This is demonstrated in its close consultations and partnerships with customers, its employment practices, its procurement policies, its plans for the development of regional distribution hubs and its research activities. As well, it operates from a facility that utilises cutting-edge technology to maximise efficiencies and environmental benefits, including passive and active energy saving systems and water saving systems.
Community Chef’s passion is to provide healthy and appealing food for the nutritionally at risk; food that meal recipients enjoy and truly want to eat.
To find out more call us on (03) 9368 5900 or contact us.