Meet our Head Chef, Michael Brooks
Hi, my name is Michael Brooks and I have been a Head Chef at Appletree Grange for many years. Here at Appletree, everything is homemade and cooked fresh daily, which ensures that all meals are tasty and nutritious, and if residents request anything that's not on the menu, we are always happy to oblige.
Food and Nutrition at Appletree Grange
Our Head Chef has been at Appletree Grange for over 10 years and he takes great pride in cooking fresh, tasty and wholesome food for our Residents. He ensures all the catering team are trained to a high standard and conducts regular training with the team. We are regularly audited by external companies on all aspects of the kitchen including food quality, cleanliness, records etc. and we have always achieved 100%. The menu at Appletree Grange is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that all of our residents are getting nutritious and delicious foods. We offer a good variety of food but we can also cater to special requests if the resident decides they want something a bit different. Maintaining the health of our residents through a good balanced diet and making sure they enjoy their food is at the heart of everything we do in the kitchen. For a taste of what we offer, please see the example menus below.
For residents that have difficulties in swallowing we modify the menu of the day so that is it a soft, palatable dish. To support our chefs in producing these dishes, our hospitality and Chef Academy organises theory and practical workshops. Working in partnership with Nutricia, our practical workshops involve all chefs and deputy managers learning about dysphagia and producing these modified menus. The chefs work with the chef trainer to prepare fork mashable and thick puree meals to the correct consistency, taste and presentation. The deputy managers can then ensure all modified menus served are presented correctly for our residents.
Attracting top chefs
Our chefs are recruited on the basis of an interview with the regional hospitality support team and the manager for the home. Selection also involves a practical element where potential cooks are asked to cook for and meet a panel of people living in the home. Chefs take their job extremely seriously and our annual Chef competition sees our chefs battle it out in regional heats and then at a national final for the accolade of 'Barchester's Chef of the Year'.