29 Nov 2020
Chef Kris Wilkinson at Frasers Suites Sydney whips up a delectable range of healthy and nutritious meals filled with fresh ingredients as well as special treats, desserts and snacks in his bid to cheer up the guests on quarantine from April to May this year.
For many, checking into a serviced residence would usually mark the beginning of a work or leisure trip in a foreign city. But during the pandemic in 2020, many serviced residences including those under Frasers Hospitality, the hospitality arm of Frasers Property Limited, were activated as a mammoth industry response to the pandemic. As part of the global #FraserCares commitment, Fraser Suites Sydney played a major role in ensuring the health and safety of its community by providing self-isolation facilities for travellers and their families.
In the heart of Sydney’s Central Business District, Fraser Suites Sydney offers the luxury of space, dedicated service and privacy complemented with fully furnished serviced residences that are ideal for extended stays. The property also provides guests and their little ones with #FraserMoments – from the likes of surprise roof-top music performances to curating colouring books for children as an outlet to unleash their creative juices.
And as guests were kept busy during the quarantine period from April to May, something was brewing up in the kitchen. Fraser Suites Sydney’s team of culinary experts worked round-the-clock to whip up surprising and satisfying meals for guests throughout the day in a menu that is both unique and refreshing.
Breakfast-to-go: Every meal is nutritionally balanced – this ensures that the average daily intake of guests is met.
Kitchen in overdrive
Trusted with the task of preparing three meals for up to 380 guests each day, Head Chef Kris Wilkinson knew that food was a big part of the experience.
Recounting how his parents had a subpar experience with the food while being quarantined at an alternative accommodation, his goal was to ensure that guests enjoyed their food with meals made with them in mind.
“We tried our best to create meals which offered variety. They were catered to different dietary restrictions, while always accommodating the different preferences of every guest,” said Chef Kris.
His top priority was to ensure a delectable range of healthy and nutritious meals filled with fresh ingredients that would make the stay as pleasant as possible. Some of his top hits were dishes that reminded Australians of home.
This included spaghetti Bolognese, the Italian staple dish, made with a rich ragù, comprising minced beef, bacon and tomatoes and topped with Parmesan cheese. It was an instant hit with guests.
Also on the menu was salmon and pesto, served with chunks of carefully prepared buttery potatoes. Crisp on the outside and bursting with flavour on the inside, each bite was both mouth-watering and satisfying.
Sharing the love: A guest shares her delight with one of Chef Kris’ creations on social media.
A rocky road: It’s not been an easy journey for all of us, but with a little love and care we can get through it together. Another Instagram post shared by a guest during her quarantine at Fraser Suites Sydney.
Opening each takeaway box that arrives at the doorstep was a pleasant surprise for guests each day. Many of them have showered compliments on the chef and his team for going great lengths towards the preparation of each meal.
“Serving isolation is tough – I’ve been through it – so we wanted every individual to have something to look forward to. Time passes a bit more quickly when they can enjoy a meal with their family every day,” said Chef Kris.
Chef Kris also paid special attention to preparing special treats, desserts and snacks to the delight of the little ones – and many adults as well.
“Some of the treats we would provide for kids are catered to what kids really enjoy. These included tiny teddies and mini Oreo and chips served with their meals, as well as homemade treats like the rocky road,” he added.
Between kitchen duties and serving guests, Chef Kris never forgets about showing care and kindness to his fellow colleagues as well. He would often make the extra effort to dish out extra snacks for them in the spirit of #FraserCares. His daughter also chipped in by baking cookies for the police and military, who helped them with the delivery of meals. The cookies even came with a special handwritten note!
A team effort
It was not all smooth sailing, however. Behind the scenes, the challenge of providing three meals a day for hundreds of guests was made more difficult because the team had to cope with reduced staffing during the pandemic.
To overcome the challenge, Fraser Suites Sydney took a collaborative approach when it operated as a self-isolation facility between April 1 and May 16. This meant roping in staff from other departments. The military and police also assisted with door-to-door contactless food delivery operations within the towering 41-storey skyscraper in the heart of Sydney.
Beyond the food service, the management took the opportunity to redefine cleanliness and hygiene standards – often exceeding the baselines recommended by health authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of our guests and staff. Housekeeping is performed under strict hygiene protocols, and a 24/7 management support team is always on standby to ensure full compliance with the latest measures implemented by the government.
Today, Chef Kris is back to his usual duties after Fraser Suites Sydney resumed regular operations. Regardless of circumstances, Chef Kris’s goal has been always to create memorable experiences for guests.
Military and police volunteers pen down their words of appreciation for the delicious cookies baked by Chef Kris’ very own 11-year-old daughter.
“We have ceased being a self-isolation facility since mid-May and we are back to normal operations. But it has been an absolute honour to be doing our part to go beyond and keep up the spirits of our guests high during these trying times,” he said.
All fired up: It was a tough period for Chef Kris and his team but the work continues with or without the pandemic.