Food at Hawthorns Care Home
Meet our Head Chef, Claire Thomas
Hi, my name is Claire and I'm the Head Chef here at the Hawthorns.
My passion and love of food started when I was young, my mother and father have eclectic and adventurous tastes and this was reflected in my home life. Never one for just plain food, I cooked up Italian, Thai and other dishes on a regular basis. Holidays also provided an insight to food and culture which I then brought back and tried out, my favourites being Australian, Russian and Egyptian. This led to a career in catering and a degree in Hospitality Management from Robert Gordon's University, Aberdeen. I have worked in a variety of hospitality environments, including the Caledonian Thistle Hotel, Aberdeen and Edinburgh Universities, within the fine dining team cooking for Prince Phillip, Puccino's Cafe Bar and now here at the Hawthorns where I have been for the last 15 years!
Food and Nutrition at our home
Our menus are composed of only the best fresh produce and cooked to the highest quality, with aims for the natural aroma and taste to be retained as best as possible. A great deal of care is taken to accommodate all dietary requirements, and our meals are always prepared with the likes and dislikes of residents taken into consideration. We can guarantee that there is something for everyone on our menu, which you can view 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'.