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Cooking For Recovery

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A Journey with Caz Recovery’s Director of Kitchen Operations

Caz Recovery is not just a place of healing; it’s a community that understands the vital role of nutrition and culinary empowerment in the recovery process. Essential to the process is Kari Foster, our Director of Kitchen Operations. With over 27 years of experience in restaurant management, Kari’s journey to Caz brings a unique perspective on how food can be a catalyst for transformation and healing. Kari’s role involves overseeing all aspects of the culinary programs within the Caz residential programs. “My journey at Caz is all about creating a nurturing environment through food,” shares Kari, as she reflects on how food has become an integral part of the recovery process.

Food’s Essential Role in Recovery

“Food empowers our residents, giving them control over their recovery journey,” Kari passionately states. Kari believes in empowering residents by giving them the tools to make informed choices about their nutrition, fostering personal growth, and building independence. “Meal planning brings stability and comfort to our residents’ lives. It’s about creating a sense of home and belonging,” Kari adds. With this in mind, Caz doesn’t stop at providing meals as cooking classes are an integral part of the recovery process. It’s all about building confidence and competence in the kitchen, setting residents up for success beyond their recovery journey. Her commitment extends beyond overseeing the kitchen; she also helped food service specialists and residents gain ServSafe certifications and developed programs like “Kitchen Basics” to teach cooking fundamentals.

Kari Foster, Director of Kitchen Operations,

A Practical Solution for Residents: The Caz Cookbook

One of the projects Kari recently completed was the development of the Caz Cookbook. It all started with a question: “Are there recipes to follow?” To Kari’s surprise, the answer was no, with many of our Food Service Specialists utilizing their own options without uniform guidance. Armed with her culinary expertise and the assistance of Caz’s nutritionist, Kari embarked on a mission to change this. The result? A cookbook tailor-made for Caz, providing a lifeline to residents in the form of practical, easy-to-follow recipes. “I wanted to make cooking less intimidating for our residents. The cookbook had to be their guide and companion,” Kari affirms. But this cookbook is not just a collection of recipes. It’s a how-to guide for residents who might find the idea of cooking for a large group a daunting task.

“We want our kitchens to be a place of growth and transformation, just like Caz.” – Kari

Caz’s commitment to excellence extends to our kitchen facilities. Turning Point House is gearing up for a move to a renovated kitchen space and Madonna House is next in line for renovations beginning in the spring. These changes are a testament to our dedication to providing the best resources for recovery. For Kari, the mission is clear: to make cooking enjoyable, accessible, and even therapeutic. As we wrap up this journey into the heart of Caz’s culinary world, we’re left with a profound understanding of the transformative impact of food, guided by Kari Foster’s expertise and dedication. The kitchen isn’t just a place for meals; it’s a place for healing, growth, and hope.

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