Bringing Joy Through Food

Meet Chef Dave Rudie of Glenwood Community

“Food is so much more than just physical nourishment,” says Chef John ‘Dave’ Rudie. “Food is really about bringing joy to people, and that’s what I get to do here.”

United Church Homes knows that staff often becomes family, and our residents are blessed to have some incredible individuals as part of that family. Meet Chef Dave Rudie, the newest addition to the Glenwood Community staff.

With more than 30 years in the industry, Chef Dave has worn more than just a chef’s hat. Hotels, country clubs, and restaurants across the region welcomed his expertise as an executive chef and consultant. Chef Dave trained at the Baltimore International Culinary College in Maryland with a stint in La Varenne, Paris, France, and participated in an advanced culinary program specializing in food and wine pairing at Beringer Vineyards as part of the School for American Chefs in Napa, California, with Madeleine Kamman. Additionally, he once helped prepare dinner for more than 300 people in honor of famed chef and author Julia Child.

Food has long been at the center of the chef’s heart. “Big Sunday dinners were a tradition in my family. I grew up watching my grandfather do most of the cooking with my grandmother as his sous chef. He inspired me to get into the kitchen at an early age,” commented Chef Dave. “I think the first dish I remember making on my own was beef stew, which is funny because soups and stews are still some of my favorite foods to make today.”

Chef Dave made his way to Glenwood Community on the encouragement of previous Glenwood chef, Tyson Whistler. “Chef Tyson and I go way back. I hired him for his first job at 16, and he then worked with me several more times in his early career. After hearing about his experience working for United Church Homes, it was easy to see the appeal of creating food for beloved members of our community and, at the same time, providing me a fulfilling and financially stable work opportunity.”

Much to the enjoyment of the residents, Chef Dave has a rather eclectic culinary background. He has heard time and time again that residents appreciate trying new cuisine and tasting something different. His Indian and Asian-inspired dishes have been well received. “Cooking for the residents is no different than cooking for guests at a restaurant,” he commented. “My goal is to introduce them to new and exciting flavors they’ve not experienced before.”

When he’s not cooking up tasty dishes for the residents in the kitchen, you might find Chef Dave enjoying the great outdoors, boating, kayaking, and even foraging for wild mushrooms.

One more hat Chef Dave has worn? Ordained minister. “I once married my sous chef and his bride with a little something I wrote called ‘A Recipe for Love.’”