Care homes and elderly care from Barchester Healthcare

Meet our Head Chef, Ainsworth Brown

Ainsworth started working in the hospitality industry in 2004 as a second chef at a different care home. He gained further experience as a Chef De Partie, preparing various English, Asian and French authentic dishes, before being promoted to Head Chef.

Ainsworth started at Austen House in 2015 and has gained experience in elderly care and understands about the nutritional welfare of those we support, catering for varying diets, including vegan, diabetic, celiac and authentic cultural cuisines.

Food and Nutrition at Austen House

At Austen House we take food seriously! Our menu's are planned to offer a wide choice of delicious and nutritious meals and snacks, with staple favourites and tempting culinary offerings that are sure to suit the palette of everyone.

Our chefs meet with all of our new residents to fully understand their likes and dislikes and also work in partnership with our clinical team to ensure that we fully meet the dietary and nutritional needs of our residents.

In addition to our seasonally changing daily menu's at Austen House we also offer additional choices that are available everyday and will also endeavour to fulfil any special requests.

Additional light snacks are available throughout the day and night and we welcome visitors and relatives to join our residents at mealtimes. Please see below for our example menus.

Breakfast time

Download sample menu

Try something different

Download sample menu

Dietary requirements

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'.

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Kilnsea Drive Lower Earley Reading RG6 3UJ Get directions

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