If you’ve got in touch with us over the last couple of years – maybe to check when your favourite soup is coming back, or to let us know our lasagne is almost as good as your mother’s – then it’s probably Carol Hancock you’ve spoken to. Carol has been our customer service manager for almost two years and, during these strange days when so many of us have been working from home, she’s doing the same.
Carol, tell us about life before you joined the Dinner Ladies.
I grew up in Sutherland Shire with three brothers, which I like to think taught me great resilience skills – I could never let my guard down or show that the endless teasing was getting to me! I started my career as a hairdresser – I was ‘queen of the perm’ back in the late 80s – and moved to Melbourne for six years, where I opened my own salon. Living in Melbourne at that time was a great introduction to food culture. Then I spent 20 years working as a bridal stylist.
Spill the beans on your time in the bridal industry!
I started working for a Melbourne designer with an amazing collection of 1930s and 40s couture gowns. That’s my favourite fashion era, so I was hooked immediately. It was a privilege to work with women at such a special time in their lives, getting to know them while helping design their dream gown. I encountered my fair share of Bridezillas (yes, they do exist!) but, fortunately, I have quite a bit of patience and seemed to be able to bring some calm to their experience.
Bridal styling meant working every weekend and I was missing time with my daughter. So I made the tough decision to look for a Monday to Friday job. When the chance came to join Dinner Ladies, I knew we were a perfect fit!
What’s your favourite Dinner Ladies dish?
Everyone in the office knows I’m addicted to the sweet potato topped shepherd’s pie. Another favourite, which I’m excited to see back on this month’s menu, is chilli jam chicken. I love anything with lime leaves and basil. And it’s not too spicy!
What do you enjoy most about working with the Dinner Ladies?
Menu tasting on a Wednesday is definitely the best day of the week! What a dream job… the dishes are brought up from the kitchen so we can taste new recipes, give our opinions and all be really clear about the menu.
Are you a good cook?
There’s no need for me to cook complicated, time-consuming dinners anymore, (thanks Dinner Ladies!), but my signature dish has always been the very fancy-sounding ‘oven-baked lamb backstraps on a bed of sweet potato mash and broccolini, with a drizzle of balsamic jus’. It was the first dinner I made for my husband-to-be when we started dating – and it tricked him into thinking I was a great cook!Order Carol's favourite chilli jam chicken on this month's menu here.