Meet our Head Chef, Gerry Thomson
Gerry started work at Balclutha Court in 2012 as an Assistant Chef, in early 2019 he was promoted to Head Chef. He is responsible the daily running of the kitchen, ensuring that residents nutritional needs are met, providing a varied menu. He is also responsible for ensuring that there are high standards of cleanliness throughout the kitchen. Gerry’s team consist of two Assistant Chefs and seven Kitchen Assistants.
Gerry has two children, a boy and girl, he also has two dogs, Nico and Bella. Gerry is great fun and loves music, you can always hear him signing away as he carries out his work. He loves the great outdoors and can often be found fishing on his time off.
Food and Nutrition at Balclutha Court
Our chefs pride themselves in getting to know each person individually, ensuring that we meet all their nutritional and dietary requirements. We provide delicious home cooked food with a great variety of options available. Our traditional roast dinner and fish teas are a great favourite with the residents. For residents with difficulty in eating and swallowing we modify the menu so that it meets their dietary needs. Throughout the day we offer light snacks and home baking to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee. Our team love to host various food related events throughout the year. We strive to deliver tasty nutritious food on a daily basis. To get a taste of the food we serve see our examples 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'.