Professional chefs at a South Coast care home provider have begun receiving added training at one of the UK’s top hotels so they can continue to delight their residents.
Under a new partnership, 12 chefs from Colten Care – which runs 20 homes – enjoyed a day of bespoke sessions in The Kitchen cookery school at the New Forest’s five-star Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa.
The hands-on training was led by award-winning chef tutor Steve Bulmer who has 20 years of Michelin level restaurant experience in the UK and Europe including with Raymond Blanc.
The Colten party focused on techniques, principles and efficiencies in breadmaking, puddings, plating up, sauces and main courses.
Following the success of the first cohort, the training will be extended to all 45 Colten chefs in due course.
Colten’s hotel services manager, Fergus Davitt, said: “We have many shared values with Chewton Glen such as the use of local suppliers and ingredients and a concentration on very high quality seasonal recipes. We create meals to an already very high standard, something we seek to maintain and improve on through continual training.
“However, working in a care home kitchen brings challenges that you don’t find in a hotel. Many of our residents have very specific clinical and nutritional requirements, for example in managing weight gain or loss or a need for modified foods. Feedback from residents and families shows people are really happy with what we do.”
Mr Davitt said that in its most recent resident survey, 97% of respondents praised the choice of food, but acknowledged that the public reputation of care home food is not always seen as outstanding.
“That’s why we decided to offer this additional training – to help our chefs continue to feel inspired, supported and invested in, so they do their very best for our residents. Our first group of chefs, a mix of ages and seniority, really enjoyed the training, felt they learned a lot, and came away very motivated.”
The Kitchen cookery school is a purpose-built space for learning about food and cooking within the grounds of Chewton Glen.
Alex Von Ulmenstein, Chewton Glen’s food and beverage operations manager, said: “We want the Colten Care chefs to get the most out of their experience and be able to apply new techniques on behalf of their residents. It’s not so much about replicating the same menus as the Chewton Glen but rather to add further expertise to their professional skills.”