Gracewell of Woking has won February's ‘Rate my Plate’, a company-wide Gracewell Healthcare chef competition. Each month, entrants from Gracewell Homes across the country send their best dishes to Gracewell Healthcare’s Executive Chef, Giles Conroy.
The winning home receives a signature plaque to celebrate their dedication and superior deliverance. They are also featured in the Gracewell's Monthly Marketing Magazine.
Gracewell of Woking's in-house dining team won the Rate my Plate Competition for February 2020. They have been led by Head Chef Ajaya Gautam since 2019, after he joined Gracewell of Woking as a Sous Chef in 2017.
Ajaya believes a care home is more than just a workplace, it is somewhere for him to meet new people, make new friends and work with incredible colleagues, he said:
“Working here, I have the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives.”
Chefs that cater to older people must think about a lot more than just the taste and quality of their food. Gracewell of Woking’s entry was a Level 4 IDDSI meal, which means it was pureed with a thick consistency and suitable for someone with difficulty swallowing. Ajaya said:
“As malnutrition can be a problem as people age, I am dedicated to providing a nutritionally balanced diet to keep residents healthy and strong. “It is especially important for older people to eat enough. The five elements we focus on to make food more appealing are colour, texture, size and shape, flavour and temperature.
“You need to have specific knowledge of texture-modified diets in order to cater for all nutritional requirements and diet modifications.”
Working as part of an in-house dining service in a care home requires a lot of skill and dedication, Ajaya’s top tips include:
“Work with passion, believe in yourself, be able to adapt and be willing to learn.”
Ajaya’s favourite dishes that the team prepare for residents are traditional and heart-warming meals, these include fish and chips, steak and ale pie, stews, casseroles and a Sunday roast.
Meera Govindapillai, General Manager at Gracewell of Woking, said:
“Our chefs work so hard to ensure that we provide the best quality food to our residents. We often receive compliments from both residents and their families on the fresh, incredibly tasty meals they prepare. They are able to cater for many different dietary requirements, while making all the meals taste so wonderful. Congratulations to Ajaya and the team!”
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