Food at Orchard House Care Home

Meet our Head Chef, Claire Daffern

Hello, my name is Claire Daffern and I am Head Chef here at Orchard House. I have been a chef for 30 years now starting aged 15 making quiches for a friend’s pub in Derby. I then went to college and gained my first Head Chef position at just 19! In 2007 my family and I decided to buy a guest house here on the lovely Isle of Wight and successfully ran the business until 2017 when we decided to sell now our family has flown the nest.

I returned to the career I love in particular the visual side of presenting food for residents as we all eat with our eyes, organising the team and managing a kitchen which provides delicious and nutritious food for everyone at Orchard House.

We have a comments book in the dining room for residents and guests, we welcome feedback and I do like to see special requests for a favourite meals or desserts from our residents

Food and Nutrition at our home

Our irresistible cuisine is prepared with only the very best fresh, seasonal produce, and based on the individual tastes of the people we support. Our menu will satisfy even those with the smallest of appetites; from breakfast through to dinner, residents can discover something different with fresh flavour and lovely presentation. Our fantastic chefs are always keeping themselves busy in the kitchen creating new and exciting dishes for everyone to enjoy. Please see below for a sample of what we offer:

Breakfast time

Download sample menu

Try something different

Download sample menu

Dietary requirements

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'.