Food at Elm Bank Care Home
Meet our Head Chef, Martyn Allen
Hi. I'm Martin. I joined Elm Bank in 2021 as Head Chef. I have been a Chef for 40 years and have experience in hotels and restaurants including some time working in Portugal. More recently I have worked in care homes in the UK. I manage a great team of Kitchen Assistants and Dining Hosts who make sure residents receive meals of their choice from our varied daily menus. We accommodate every resident’s food preferences, allergies and nutritional needs. We can provide food and drinks that are softened or thickened, if required, to making eating and swallowing easier. And, of course, we make sure there are plenty of treats for all the lovely birthdays we celebrate here.
It is essential that the people we support have access to healthy food at all times, so our fantastic catering team are always on hand to prepare tasty and nutritious cuisine. Our food is cooked to highest standard and with residents’ preferences always in mind. The importance of a balanced diet is never forgotten here, so we offer a varied menu that has something for everyone to enjoy, which you can sample below:
For residents who have difficulties swallowing, we modify the menu of the day so that the dishes are more palatable for them. To support our chefs in producing these dishes, our hospitality team and our Chef Academy organise theory and practical workshops. The chefs work with the chef trainer to prepare tasty, modified meals safely and according to IDDSI frame work. This encourages residents to eat and enjoy their food. All our chefs have been trained in IDDSI food descriptors.
Attracting top chefs
Our chefs are recruited on the basis of an interview with the regional hospitality support team and the manager of the home. Selection also involves a practical element, where potential chefs are asked to cook for and meet a panel of people living in the home. Chefs take their job extremely seriously and the annual Barchester 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'.