By Katie Hurley
There is a certain joy in meeting someone who loves what they do for a living. You know those people who light up when they talk about their job, their co-workers and their workplace? Rubi Goldstein, who just celebrated her 17th anniversary as the Culinary Director at Garden Courte Memory Care, is one of those people.
Goldstein, who has 30 years of experience in the food industry, has been with Garden Courte since before the building was finished. She had previously worked in hotels, restaurants and owned her own catering company. When a former employer called her to see if she wanted to be the Culinary Director at the new facility, she jumped at the chance. “I want to do food where it matters,” said Goldstein. “I do what I love and make a difference.”
It is clear that the comfort and happiness of the residents at Garden Courte really matter to Goldstein. When asked what she likes most about her job, Goldstein says, “working with people who work so hard – the caregivers, the hearts of the people who care for these residents. The people that work with me are amazing. I love coming to work every day. I’m blessed.”
Goldstein plans menus that feature the comfort food that is familiar to the residents. “A little more gourmet than institutional cuisine, but I have to keep it so they know what it is. The gravies and meats bring back fond memories for the residents,” says Goldstein. “It is the old-fashioned foods they are accustomed to, but I put my mark on them.”
Dawn Peterson, Garden Courte’s Marketing Director, has high praise for Chef Rubi. “It is critical to Rubi that the residents get what they need,” says Peterson. “She is very kind, gentle and open, just an awesome lady.”
Peterson touts Rubi’s management skills as well. “She creates an environment where people want to work with her. She has a positive approach to her work environment. She manages to do whatever we need, no matter how busy she is.” This includes Chef Rubi’s gourmet cookies, which are served to visitors in the lobby and for special events. She also prepares continental breakfasts for a lecture series at Garden Courte as well as lunches for Caregiver Support Groups.
In addition to feeding Garden Courte’s residents every day, Chef Rubi and her staff of six prepare food for special events. Of her staff, Rubi says, “I have a crew that just rocks. I couldn’t do it without them! This is my home away from home, and they are like another family for me.”
Chef Rubi’s reputation expands well beyond Garden Courte’s walls. “State surveyors use Garden Courte’s kitchen as a training ground for new surveyors because Chef Rubi runs a tight ship,” says Peterson. “She is a great leader, and people really look up to her and respect her.”
When she’s not at work, Goldstein enjoys listening to live music and hanging with friends. And yes, she cooks for her friends, too. Rubi’s friends and coworkers are lucky to know her (and that’s not just because of her delicious chocolate cookie I enjoyed today!)
During National Assisted Living Week (September 9-13), Chef Rubi will be featured in some of Garden Courte’s special events. For more information about Chef Rubi’s culinary creations, see www.gardencourte.com.