NACC Care Chef 2020 finalist Gracewell of Ascots Head Chef Matt Dodds

Matt Dodds, Head Chef, joined Gracewell of Ascot in March 2019. He previously worked at another care provider as a regional hospitality specialist.

Part of Matt’s job involves managing and overseeing the catering operations within the home. This includes ensuring that residents receive a balanced and nutritious diet and supporting any weight issues.

Textured modification of meals for residents who need them is an essential part of the service too. Matt also delivers training to the rest of the catering team and holds regular meetings with residents to ensure that they are enjoying the food at the home.

Stella Putt, General Manager at Gracewell of Ascot, said: “Matt was put forward for the NACC’s Care Chef competition because he is extremely passionate about working in a care home, showcasing what care home chefs can do and what a difference they can make.”

Matt added: “For too long there has been a stereotype that chefs in care homes can’t produce good food, yet some of the best food I have seen has been produced in care homes. I always make it my mission to raise the bar on the standard of food produced for residents and these competitions are a great way to get your home on the map.”

Matt loves knowing that the food he is cooking for residents is a whole experience. He said: “Whether it is a birthday cake or an afternoon tea for a family. The appreciation received from a good meal is more satisfying than in any restaurant, because I know the quality meals we produce has a positive impact on residents’ health and wellbeing.”

Matt’s likes to cook the classic dishes for residents – but they have to be done right. For example, a braised steak or a home-made pie. He doesn’t have a favourite dish to cook – as long as residents have chosen what they want to eat and they enjoy the meal, Matt is happy.

Matt’s top tips to chefs working in or looking to work in a care home: “Always have passion and enthusiasm about the food you cook and always remember that it is not just a meal that we are delivering, it’s a whole entertainment package.”


To find out more about Gracewell of Ascot, click here, or if you think you have what it takes to work at Gracewell, visit our careers page.

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