Chef’s Corner

RODNEY WASICSKO – DINING SERVICES DIRECTOR

Rod attended Ithaca College (Ithaca, NY) majoring in Music and Voice Performance. Rod’s passion was singing, however all things culinary snuck in and played a huge role in his college career. During Rod’s freshman year, he started working in one of the dining halls helping to serve and prepare meals. By his sophomore year, he was asked to be one of the few student managers on campus. Rod learned the ropes from a solid culinary team who were eager to teach and share their experiences. As college came to an end and teaching jobs were scarce, Ithaca College offered him a Dining Manager salaried position, and he hasn’t looked back since.

For a young man right out of college, Rod was making huge gains in his field. Everything from running dining halls, creating campus snack bars and working as the personal waiter for events hosted by the President of the College. Rod began his career.

From there, Rod has a 30 year resume which centers around one thing – creating an exception experience for anyone who enters his dining room. Rod states, ‘The food business is about making people happy, quality ingredients, excellent service in an environment where people want to come back.’ For Rod, it’s about building great teams and finding people with the same passion, ‘When you do that, everything just clicks.’

Rod loves coming to work every day at Clover Blossom. Rod’s passion revolves around building teams that produce great success. ‘We provide a family environment. I believe every resident deserves to feel at home, especially at meal time.’ Rod is known for incorporating family recipes, his generous spirit and finding options for all types of dietary needs. His latest project was planting and maintaining an herb garden with our residents. The kitchen is currently using our home grown herbs in our menus. Rod states, ‘It’s a privilege to serve our residents and associates. Every day I enter the kitchen with one thing in mind – to create extraordinary and innovative experiences where people thrive.’

When Rod is not working, he loves to spend time with his family. He loves sports, especially baseball, and proudly shares he’s an avid New York Yankees fan! You’ll find him at his grandson’s soccer games, out hiking or volunteering in his community and of course, gracing those around him with his beautiful singing voice’.

CHEF’S RECIPES

MATT PIGNATO – EXECUTIVE CHEF

Executive Chef Matt Pignato is a Rochestarian through and through. Born to an Italian mom and an Irish dad in the 19th Ward of Rochester, he was raised to do food right. His mom always knew he would be a chef. She would find him watching Emeril when his friends were playing outside. For as long as they can remember, Matt always loved to cook.

A graduate of the Culinary School at Monroe Community College (Rochester, NY) with an Associates in Food Service Administration, Matt was on his way to build a career in the culinary field.

Chef Matt’s resume includes catering events serving up to 1200 people, cooking for private county clubs, and hosting black tie affairs with over 600 guests. ‘I’ve always loved to cook. I love to watch the reaction when someone bites into a perfect steak or a homemade dessert, nothing beats that.’ Chef Matt uses his eye for detail in all aspects of the job and it shows, from our 4th of July BBQ in the courtyard to the beautiful plates when they leave the kitchen. ‘You eat with your eyes first, food should always look as good as it tastes.’

Chef Matt is known for his flavor profiles, his perfectly cooked Salmon and his ‘knock your socks off’ caramel apple crisp. He is also known for creating opportunities within the kitchen for associates who would like a career in the culinary field. He states, ‘Combining that love of preparing food, building a solid team, promoting from within and passing on the skills that were shown to me – that’s my passion.’

When not in the kitchen, you might find Matt bowling. He has been in a league for over 20 years and has an almost perfect game at 298 to show for it. He is a proud dad to his 2 dogs, Mocha and Calli, lab mixes who are both over 10 years old. Matt rescued Mocha when she was 6 months old and takes a lot of pride in the goofy, gentle dog she is today.

Chef Matt is committed to delivering great, flavor-rich food and unparalleled service to the residents, families and guests of Clover Blossom.