Contact information

Call us today at 1-877-742-6639

Celebrating Diversity at Parkland Clayton Park

June 26, 2024 Great People

June 27th marks Multiculturalism Day, a celebration of diversity and cultural richness. At Parkland Clayton Park, this day holds special significance, highlighting the vibrant mix of backgrounds within the community. 

May was Great People Month, a time where we celebrate the team that brings service excellence and care to the residents at Parkland. To honour this occasion, Executive Chef Rodney Cole and Sous Chef Jesus Rodriguez collaborated to bring an authentic Mexican experience to the team, adding a nostalgic touch to Great People Month. 

Chef Rodney, with seven years at Parkland Clayton Park, has a rich history in the culinary world. “Culinary is all I’ve ever done,” he shares, reflecting on his journey from being the youngest in his class at 17 to leading a retirement living culinary team. Rodney cherishes the connection with residents, valuing their stories and culinary preferences.  

Jesus Rodriguez, originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, joined Parkland Clayton Park a year ago. With a background as a lawyer, Jesus found his passion in cooking, influenced by his father’s restaurants, grandmothers’ recipes, and his wife’s professional training at Cordon Bleu. “We are very happy with Parkland for the opportunity to work here. So now me and my wife are giving back to the people who work here.” 

In May, Rodney sought to bring authentic cultural dishes to the diverse team at Parkland Clayton Park. He approached Jesus to develop an authentic Mexican menu. Jesus and his wife prepared traditional dishes, including birria, a savory beef taco with a unique blend of peppers, tomatoes, and onions. For dessert, they served a beloved Mexican cake called Tres Leches cake which is soaked in three kinds of milk. 

“The cake is the most traditional cake we have in Mexico. Tres Leches is three milk – condensed, evaporated and regular together. We make the cake dry and soak in cake in the milk mixture, then strawberry compote and whipped cream and fresh fruit,” said Jesus. 

Chef Rodney sourced specialty ingredients, running around the city to find dehydrated peppers and other essentials. “It was a great experience, and the team really appreciated it,” he says. The event not only celebrated Mexican cuisine but also offered Jesus and his wife valuable feedback as they plan to open their bakery in Halifax.  

Jesus expressed his gratitude, “We are so happy to share our traditional dishes. The diverse community at Parkland appreciated the flavours of Mexico.” Chef Rodney adds, “Multiculturalism is a core theme of Great People Month. We strive to bring familiar cultural recipes to life, ensuring everyone feels valued.” 

Parkland Clayton Park embraces the multicultural nature of our community by incorporating flavours from around the world. Chef Rodney explains, “If I don’t have someone from the culture here in culinary, then we’ll do the research to make it happen.” This approach allows the culinary team to experiment with spices and create authentic dishes, enriching the dining experience for everyone. 

Looking ahead, Chef Rodney is enthusiastic about continuing this tradition, promising to bring familiar cultural recipes to life again. 

Want to experience Chef Rodney’s and Sous Chef Jesus’ delicious cuisine? Book a tour and have lunch on us!