Meet our Head Chef, Marco Ourique

My name is Marco, and I have a been a chef since 2009. Brought up in South Africa by Portuguese parents, I have always had a passion for cooking. In my spare time, I enjoy spending days out with my family, photography and, of course, cooking!

Food and Nutrition at Challoner House

Ensuring that each person we care for meets their nutritional and dietary requirements is a big responsibility, which is why our catering team comprises experienced chefs who can deliver a fantastic array of both delicious and nourishing food. Our chefs take into account our residents likes, dislikes and dietary requirements to create a menu that appeals to everyone. We also offer light snacks throughout the day and night to those people who just can’t get enough of our food! For a taste of what we offer, please see the example below.

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'.